No flight restrictions as soon as coronavirus under control; Aviation minister says ‘heart goes out’

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Published: April 8, 2020 4:14 PM

Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri has today assured that the government will lift restrictions from flight operations as soon as coronavirus is in control.

he country had earlier suspended all domestic and international commercial passenger flights as the government looked to contain the spread of the virus.

As the domestic aviation sector continues to lose massive amounts of revenues due to coronavirus lockdown, Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri has today assured that the government will lift restrictions from flight operations as soon as coronavirus is in control. “These Restrictions will be lifted once we are fully confident that the spread of the virus has been controlled & it poses no danger to fellow Indians,” he tweeted. The country had earlier suspended all domestic and international commercial passenger flights as the government looked to contain the spread of the virus.

Aviation industry is one of the worst hit sectors in India and many airlines have now announced paycuts to tide over the current situation. While IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir said that they will release partial salaries for the last month, SpiceJet has also returned five of its wet-lease aircraft to keep costs under control. In fact, industry advisor CAPA has said that most of the global airlines stare at bankruptcy by the end of May if the coronavirus situation persists. “My heart goes out to people who are facing problems due to restrictions put in place on domestic & international flights, pursuant to the situation arising out of the timely announcement of a nationwide lockdown,” aviation minister said on Twitter. 

Meanwhile, the airline industry is expected to take a year to bounce back to normal business as uncertainties remain over coronavirus lockdown. “For India to return to a pre-COVID operational fleet of 650 aircraft is likely to take up to 12 months from the time that restrictions are lifted, and this may be conservative,” CAPA said in a report this week. The global aviation activity has gone down by two-thirds, according to data by Flightradar24. As airlines continue to provide relief work during the testing times, IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta recently praised national carrier Air India as the latter played a crucial role in evacuating stranded Indian nationals from various cities across the globe.

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