New Delhi: Privately-owned budget airlines GoAir on Tuesday decided to suspend its international operations and initiated a rotational leave programme for its employees ‘without pay’ in view of the coronavirus outbreak that has severely affected the aviation sector. Also Read - How Boris Johnson's Pregnant Fiancee Carrie Symonds Battling COVID-19 as he Goes in ICU Leading Severely Tough Times Ahead

According to a statement released by the budget carrier, the viral infection has caused a sharp decline in air travel that was “unprecedented”. As a result, the airline will temporarily suspend all international operations till April 15. Also Read - Coronavirus: Delhi Government Seals Cancer Institute After Doctor, 9 Staffers Test Positive



“We’re temporarily suspending all our international operations, starting 17th March-15th April. GoAir has also initiated a short term and temporary rotational leave without pay program that will not only help the company counter the short term reduction in capacity but will also ensure that a cross-section of our employees stay away from the workplace to ensure business continuity,” the statement read. Also Read - World Health Day 2020: History, Significance, And Theme

Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has directed all airlines to deep-clean and disinfect the aircraft. “All aircraft must have at least one ‘universal precaution kit’ to protect crew who will handle suspected coronavirus cases,” the DGCA said, adding that all airlines must be equipped with hand sanitizers placed in common areas like lavatories and galleys.