New Delhi: Severely affected by the 21-day nationwide lockdown, the Central government on Sunday said that it is likely to allow domestic and international flight operations in India in a staggered manner after April 14. The move from the Central government will be taken keeping in mind the revenue loss of the civil aviation sector. Also Read - COVID-19: DGCA Suspends Breathalyser Tests For Aviation Staff Members
The development comes after Air Deccan on Sunday said that it ceased its operation for an indefinite period and asked all employees to go on sabbatical without pay. Also Read - Amid Coronavirus Outbreak, DGCA Extends Ban on International Passenger Flights Till April 14
“As the virus is still spreading in the country, we are thinking to permit domestic and international flight operations post April 14 in a staggered manner. Airlines are free to take bookings for any date post April 14,” a senior Civil Aviation Ministry official was quoted as saying by PTI. Also Read - DGCA Issues Advisory For 'Social Distancing' on Flights, at Airports | Here are the Rules
However, the official further added that if the lockdown gets extended post April 14, all the airlines will have to cancel the tickets booked for that time period.
As per updates, all other airlines except Air India are taking domestic bookings for dates post April 14. However, Air India is taking bookings for dates post April 30 only.
As it has sent all employees on sabbatical without pay, Air Deccan is not taking any bookings and it is not clear when it would restart operations.
With revenues falling significantly because of the 22-day lockdown, IndiGo has also announced a pay cut of up to 25 per cent for its senior employees and Vistara has announced a compulsory leave without pay of up to three days for its senior employees in March.
On the other hand, SpiceJet has stated that its employees’ salaries would be reduced between 10 to 30 per cent and Air India has announced a 10 per cent cut in allowances for every employee, except cabin crew, for the coming three months.
Moreover, GoAir has cut salaries of its employees, laid off its expat pilots and introduced leave without pay for employees on a rotational basis.
Soon after the Central government imposed a 21-day lockdown from March 25 to curb spread of the coronavirus pandemic, all domestic and international commercial passenger flights have been suspended for this time period. However, DGCA has said that cargo flights, offshore helicopter operations, medical evacuation flights and special flights are permitted to operate during this lockdown.