Civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Sunday no decision has yet been taken to resume domestic and international flight at the end of the lockdown.
“No decision has been taken so far to commence operations of domestic and international flights post the lockdown. All airlines have been directed by DGCA to refrain from booking tickets. They shall be given sufficient notice and time for restating operations.”
Shortly before, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in a statement said no decision has been taken to resume passenger flights from May 4 when the lockdown ends and that airlines should not start booking tickets.
Referring to previous circulars by the Civil Aviation Ministry which prohibited operations of domestic passenger flights, the DGCA said, “In these circulars, there was no direction/clearance which allows the airlines to start ticket bookings for the journeys to be undertaken w.e.f the 4th of May, 2020. Further it has been noted that airlines have started booking tickets for journeys w.e.f the 4th of May 2020.In this respect it is brought to the notice of all concerned that no decision to commence the operation of domestic/international flights w.e.f 4th of May has been taken.”
“In view of this, all airlines are hereby directed to refrain from booking tickets as described above. Further the airline s may note that they shall be given sufficient notice and time for restarting of operations,” it said.
The regulator asked for “strict compliance” by all airlines.
Passenger flights were banned from March 25 when the lockdown came into force to check the spread of coronavirus.
Air cargo services were exempted from the lockdown.