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.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation clarifies that so far no decision has been taken to open domestic or international operations.
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) April 18, 2020
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?