The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, on Thursday, has disclosed that he was not in a position to regulate airfares for airlines.

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Sirika made the disclosure when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Aviation to notify senators on the level of the sector’s preparedness to begin flight operations on July 8.

He said, “Price is not in my hand but from what we put in place, I do not think that anything significant will happen to affect the propensity to fly.”

The minister, however, said necessary protocols have been put in place to ensure social distancing within the airport premises and inside the aircraft.

He said, “There is nothing like rush hour again. People have to stay safe before anything happens.

“So I’m sure that as civil aviation we are responsible to ensure that everybody remains safe. So there should be no fear, no panic.

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“The industry is highly regulated, it is one aviation and I’m sure that you have seen from what we have been doing lately, we have been following the international convention and practices.

“So this will not be different. There is nothing to panic about, we will become physically distant when required.

“It is possible to maintain social distancing inside the aircraft bearing in mind that most of the flights are not always full.

“We are also working with the airlines to come up with the protocols before we open. That will be unveiled to you in due course.”