All airlines operating in/to India directed to stop accepting reservations for flights from May 4, 2020

Earlier today, I wrote a long rant about how airlines continued to accept bookings for flights they were not sure they could operate.

Airlines were treating the order to shut down flights till a specific date as the way of looking at things and go on and open bookings from the day after, as it helps their topline to get cash in from the customers. I wrote that

The government should blanket ask the airlines to stop planning for resumption of operations until further notice, but instead, they are just looking the other way.

It turns out that the actions of the airlines have not gone unnoticed. Airlines did not stop their bookings after this tweet from the Indian minister in charge of the Civil Aviation Ministry, which many considered as a soft warning to the extent of halting these bookings.

Today, the Indian regulator for aviation has finally put out a direction that asks all airlines to stop accepting bookings for travel on planes from May 4, 2020, onwards.

The notice makes it very clear that there has been no direction or clearance from it, allowing airlines to start ticket bookings for journeys from May 4 onwards. The airlines have been told that they will be given sufficient notice and time for restarting of operations.

So, for now, this whole continuous game of starting reservations and not being able to fly should stop at the airlines. As of 10 PM, IST on April 19, 2020, only IndiGo and Air India seems to have closed bookings. SpiceJet, GoAir and Vistara were still accepting reservations.

What do you think of the latest move from the DGCA?

About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. They are so Many citizens strangled in different states they are not even way to get out of there to take the international flights from anywhere. This is very frustrating government should plan to open flights only for those are strangled and make some rules so they can only allowed not everyone. It will control the traffic and social distancing if that they are worried about. We have families waiting for us and people have health issues they want to go back desperately. Thanks please open the flights.

  2. I understand your frustration. But at the end of the day, it’s a business. Most airlines in india will not survive this if the government doesn’t help out. On top of that, they’re just following government guidelines. No business would voluntarily stop unless the government says so because they’ll just end up losing money. It’s the same thing with the lockdown, if the government had not taken the initiative, how many people do you actually think would begin social distancing and self quarantining on their own? Food for thought.

  3. Here i am stuck in US. Illiterate people.
    Not wearing mask. Protesting against lockdown. What not
    Thanos is covid

  4. Ajay, I fear there are more troubled times for those looking to book tickets right now. I guess, these are the people who want to travel urgently for various reasons. One should be lucky in these times to book advance tickets “at the fares of pre-corona times” and be able to board the aircraft on the departure date without facing any cancellations due to any reasons.
    For e.g., On April 01, I saw one-way flight ticket for DEL-CCU sector departing on April 15 for INR 2500. On April 07, the same one-way flight for April 15 was costing INR 15000.
    These people must brace up for the steep fares (including those hoping to re-schedule as they anyway have to pay the fare difference) going forward.
    So, while the airlines assure customers that “we’ve got you covered” during the lockdown by all sorta one sided and unfair scheme, I’m afraid these same airlines may not shy away from making the same customers ‘naked’ by charging steep fares once the flight operations resume.

  5. What the other airlines (that has not closed their bookings yet) are doing is outright fraud and they should be taken to task!

    Shame on them

  6. Indigo are not accepting till 31st May. After that booking at Indigo is still open.

    Air India only accepting 1 flight booking for Delhi – Mumbai sector and vice versa from 4th May onwards.

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