New Delhi: IndiGo, the country’s largest airlines, will take a series of measures, including doing away with onboard meal services, for a brief period, once airline operations resume after the ongoing nationwide lockdown, announced on March 24 to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, is lifted. Also Read - Coronavirus: Jets to be Grounded? 'Tough Decisions on Cards,' IndiGo Writes to Pilots
Notably, the government announced ban on domestic airline operations on March 25, a day after the 21-day nationwide lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The ban was to be in place till April 14, the scheduled last date of the lockdown; however, there have been indications in recent days that the lockdown might, in fact, be extended. Also Read - Coronavirus Outbreak: IndiGo Says Fall in Bookings Will Hit Earnings
The ban on international flight operations, meanwhile, came into effect on March 22 and is scheduled to last till April 14 as well. Also Read - IndiGo Puts Cabin Crew on Home Observation After Hyderabad-Based Passenger Tests Positive For Coronavirus
In a letter to IndiGo employees, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ronojoy Dutta spoke of the company’s current focus and ‘tentative plans for the immediate future,’ which, he said, will focus on cash flow and ‘also examine all our fixed costs and look for ways to minimise them.’
“We are yet to finalise the new set of procedures. However, we’ll deep clean our aircraft more frequently, discontinue meal services for a brief period and run our coaches at a maximum load of 50%,” he wrote in his letter.
“We will soon come out with the new set of protocols,” he further wrote.
In the letter, he also laid emphasis on following the Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s (DGCA) new guidelines, announced in a bid to ensure that ‘social distancing’ is maintained both in flights and at airports.
Earlier, there were also reports that flight operations might be resumed in a ‘staggered manner’ post-lockdown. The government, however, has said that a decision in this regard is yet to be taken.