Airlines asked not to book tickets

New Delhi: The Centre on Sunday said that there has been no decision so far on the resumption of both domestic and international flights post the lockdown.

Besides, civil aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has also asked all arlines to refrain from booking tickets.

The development comes after speculation rose on the prospect that flight suspension might last longer than 3 May.
In a tweet, Civil Aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri said: “No decision has been taken so far to commence operations of domestic & International flights post the Lockdown. All Airlines have been directed by @DGCAIndia to refrain from booking tickets.”

He also said that the airlines will be given sufficient notice and time for restarting operations. Noting that it had not given any direction to airlines to book tickets for flights starting from 4 May, the DGCA directed airlines not to book tickets post for the post lockdown period.

On Saturday, Puri had clarified that Centre has not yet decided on any definite date for commencing domestic or international flight operations.

In a tweet, the Minister had said: “The Ministry of Civil Aviation clarifies that so far no decision has been taken to open domestic or international operations.”

“Airlines are advised to open their bookings only after a decision in this regard has been taken by the Government.”

Saturday’s clarification had come after the national passenger carrier Air India opened bookings for domestic flights which will be operated from 4 May.

Last week, the DGCA said that all domestic and international flights will remain suspended during the period after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of the extension of the nationwide lockdown till 3 May, The DGCA had earlier stopped operations of passenger flights on all domestic routes from 25 March to 31 March and then extended it to 14 April.