Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri took to Twitter to indicate that the restrictions will only be lifted once the government is confident that the outbreak of Coronavirus has been controlled.
Coronavirus lockdown: Amid the discussion of resumption in flight services from May 4 and airlines to open bookings for their domestic and international flights, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri took to Twitter to indicate that the restrictions will only be lifted once the government is confident that the outbreak of Coronavirus has been controlled. In his tweet, he clarified that once the government is sure that COVID-19 poses no danger to the Indian population, flight services will resume. The minister, in a series of tweets, has also highlighted that a directive was also issued to airlines. According to him, the airlines have been asked to restrain from opening flight ticket bookings because they did not take note of the government’s advice.
He added that some airlines started taking money from people for further bookings and in order to address this, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has issued a directive to the carriers on April 19, 2020. He further informed that the government will give sufficient notice as well as time to airline companies so they can commence bookings for flight tickets.
In his previous tweets when the phase 1 and phase 2 of the lockdown was announced, the Minister had stated that after the lockdown is lifted, the government will ‘consider’ resumption in bookings and other services. The Ministry of Civil Aviation on April 18 had clarified that the government has not taken any decision to open booking for domestic as well as international flights.
I want to once again say that flight restrictions that are in place as a result of India's fight against COVID19 will be lifted once we are confident that spread of the virus has been controlled & it poses no danger to our country & people.
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) April 20, 2020
According to a report by PTI, private carriers had ignored the government’s advisory and kept taking bookings for travel after May 3 this year. However, the national air passenger carrier Air India stopped taking flight ticket booking after the government’s notification. The circular issued to airline companies asked all the airlines to refrain from booking tickets till further notice, PTI said.
Meanwhile, all the operations for domestic and international flights were suspended on March 24 for all the government and private airline companies as a nationwide lockdown was imposed to curb the impact of novel Coronavirus. The lockdown is expected to be lifted on May 3. For all the bookings that were taken earlier and got cancelled because of the lockdown, customers will get a refund for those tickets.