Last evening, I wrote about a new directive that came from the Government of India, which asked airlines to stop taking bookings from May 4, 2020, onwards. This said circular, enclosed below, says that airlines operating in India are expressly barred from accepting future bookings till they are given instructions to do so.
Now, the instruction came late on a Sunday evening (although what Sunday in the industry? For that matter, what Sunday for anyone these days?). So, I thought I’d give airline majors time till Monday morning to comply with the instructions and report back. Let’s have a look at who is fulfilling.
Air India and AirAsia India are not accepting bookings sine die.
AirAsia India is not accepting bookings until the end of the schedule. We randomly checked into September 2020, and we found all flights to be unavailable.
Similarly, Air India is not accepting bookings until the end of the schedule at the moment as well. I tried looking for tickets of December 2020.
GoAir & SpiceJet are taking bookings from May 16, 2020
The two most cash crunched airlines in the industry for the moment have inferred that “till further notice” means May 15 and are already accepting bookings from May 16, 2020. We all must be living on different planets I imagine where they got a separate notice with an end date in sight.
IndiGo and Vistara are accepting domestic bookings from June 1 onwards
Again, IndiGo and Vistara have gone with a different interpretation of the government orders, choosing to open reservations from June 1, 2020, onwards.
Regional operators TruJet and StarAir are also keeping bookings open for flights from June 1, 2020. I mean, what do I even say.
I will be updating the report card for the international airlines operating to India in a day or two too. Still, so far, I am amused how airlines are sort of defying government orders straight away, under what pretext, I don’t know.