The domestic flight operations are set to resume from April 15 in India when the 21-day lockdown ends. Except for Air India, all other airlines have been taking bookings for commercial passenger services from April 15.
Go Air becomes the first airline in India to announce the resumption of their international flights. According to news reports, a spokesperson of Go Air has revealed that people can book tickets for international flights from May 1.
Even though the airlines have got clearance to begin their operations from next week, the government will still not allow flights to operate in all sectors. Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri reportedly had earlier called the reports “mere speculations,” the airlines have begun to send out emails to their customers regarding the resumption of their services from April 15.
Probably for the first time in independent India, passenger trains and flights have been suspended. The impact of the situation came out to be severe when Mumbai suspended the local trains. The city has witnessed the worst floods, bomb blasts and terror attacks in the past, but those reasons were not good enough to stop the local trains in the city.
“As we are nearing the end of the 21-day lockdown, this is to update you that, subject to regulatory approvals, we will be operating limited flights starting April 15, 2020. Please be assured that you will be notified in case of any change in your flight schedule. Make sure to update your contact details on our website so that we can reach you,” Indigo Airlines wrote in their email to their customers on Monday.
For the existing bookings, no airline has offered to provide a full refund so far but the airlines are giving a one-time reschedule option without any extra charges. In the case of Indigo, you can cancel at no extra charge but you will retain the full amount in your ‘credit shell’, which will be for a year.
Like other countries, the aviation sector has been affected in India. Almost all the airlines including Indigo, Air India and SpiceJet have announced pay cuts, especially for their senior employees.
While Vistara has announced a compulsory leave without pay of up to three days for its senior employees, Air Deccan has declared indefinite suspension of flight operations and has asked all employees to go on sabbatical without salaries. Air India, on the other hand, has announced a pay cut of 10% for every employee, except cabin crew.