New Delhi: Amid lockdown 2.0, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Sunday issued a a fresh circular to all airlines asking them to refrain from booking tickets. “It is brought to the notice of all that no decision to commence operation of domestic/international flights with effect from May 4, 2020 has been taken yet,” the DGCA said in the order to the airlines. Also Read - COVID-19 Updates: 552 Fresh Cases, 12 Deaths Reported in Maharashtra in Past 24 Hrs; Total Tally at 4200, Toll 223
In the order, the DGCA told airlines to stop taking bookings. The order from the aviation regulator came after news reports surfaced that private Indian airlines were taking bookings on Sunday on select flights from May 4. Also Read - COVID-19: DGCA Suspends Breathalyser Tests For Aviation Staff Members
“All airlines are hereby directed to refrain from booking tickets. Further, the airlines may note that they shall be given sufficient notice and time for restarting operations,” the DGCA said in the order. Also Read - Amid Coronavirus Outbreak, DGCA Extends Ban on International Passenger Flights Till April 14
The development comes after Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Saturday said airlines are advised to open bookings only after the government takes a decision on starting domestic and international commercial passenger flight services.
Taking to Twitter, the minister said that 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,” the minister said in a tweet.
On Saturday, Air India said it has opened bookings on select domestic flights from May 4 and on select international flights from June 1.
Prior to this, IndiGo had also announced that it would start flight operations in a phased manner from May 4. The private carrier has been taking bookings on select domestic flights since then.