New Delhi: An ‘all-pet’ private chartered jet is all set to transport six pets, who were stranded during the Covid-19 lockdown in Delhi, back to their owners in Mumbai in mid-June.
This initiative was taken up by 25-year-old Deepika Singh, a cybersecurity researcher in Mumbai. Singh told ThePrint that her relatives were stranded in Delhi and she had arranged a jet to bring them back, but some of them were not willing to travel with pets.
This led to the idea of an ‘all-pet’ private jet.
“Some people wanted to travel with their pets but when the others refused, I decided to arrange for another jet,” she told ThePrint.
She approached Accretion Aviation, an aggregator of private jets, helicopters and yachts, for a six-seater plane. The entire plane costs Rs 9.06 lakh, with each seat costing Rs 1.60 lakh.
“I contacted a private company. They agreed to give a plane for pets. Till now, four people have agreed to bring their pets from Delhi to Mumbai,” added Singh.
Fifty-eight-year-old Harvinder Kaur from Chembur, is one of the people who have agreed to have their dogs transported via the jet.
Kaur’s two 14-month-old Shih Tzus Finishia and Michelle were living with her relatives in Delhi’s Vasant Kunj, after she had to leave the national capital due to a family emergency. When a friend introduced her to Singh, she jumped at the opportunity.
“I did not care about money. They are like my children. I miss them terribly,” Kaur told ThePrint.
Pets will be screened, their temperatures will be taken
With four passengers already secured, the private jet needs two more pets to undertake the journey
Rahul Muchhal, the owner of Accretion Aviation, said, “Deepika has spoken to four pet owners. As soon as we get two more pets, we will start the preparations. At the latest, the plane will be ready to fly in the second week of this month.”
According to Muchhal, most people who charter private jets travel with their pets, but the latter have to be in cages during the flight. This protocol will be followed aboard the ‘all-pet’ jet as well.
The animals will also be screened before boarding, and temperatures will be taken of all the pets.
While studies suggest that dogs and cats can get infected by the coronavirus from humans, there is still little clarity whether there is animal-to-human reverse transmission, and how the virus affects them.
On the recent lifting of lockdown restriction, Muchhal also said that after the announcement of ‘Unlock 1.0’, he is confident that the ‘all-pet’ jet will not face problems with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the regulatory body of civil aviation in India.
A source in the DGCA told ThePrint, “Such flights do not require special permission to fly. The sanctions were lifted on the same days as the Ministry of Civil Aviation gave the green signal for domestic commercial flights.”
While at the moment, the plane will only transport the animals to Mumbai, Singh said that if she gets a good response, she will consider expanding the operation to other states as well.
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