The first phase of the lockdown enforced in the country due to coronavirus outbreak was from March 25th to April 14th and the second phase was imposed from April 15th till May 3rd.
All domestic and international commercial passenger flight operations have been suspended during the lockdown period. Nevertheless, cargo flights and special flights were allowed as per the revised guidelines.
“In the wake of the ongoing global health concerns, we have currently stopped accepting bookings on all domestic flights for travel till May 3, 2020, and on all international flights for travel till May 31, 2020,” a recent news on Air India’s website stated on Saturday. However, selective domestic flights from May 4th and select international flights from June 1st would be available, it added.
In response to the advertisement published by Air India, civil minister was compelled to intervene earlier on Saturday.
“The Ministry of Civil Aviation clarifies that till date no clear decision has been taken to open domestic or international operations,” he tweeted on Saturday. Airlines are instructed to open their bookings only after they get a nod from the government, the minister added.
India is unlikely to allow international flights to take off from its land before July as new corona cases have increased in manifolds all over the world and it all depends on what measures the other countries are taking to uproot the virus.
Worldwide including India, it has been apparent that unrestricted movement of people from overseas was among the potential carriers and reasons behind the spread of the virus. Thus, the government will not allow the opening of routes for international travel. Although, Domestic travel can be permitted a little earlier,” one source said.