Like I’ve mentioned before, 650 aircraft approximately across the country have been grounded at the moment because firstly airlines were told they could not fly passengers from March 25 to March 31, 2020, and then their grounding was extended in line with the government imposed lockdown of April 14, 2020.
The last time around, I was tracking the information ahead, and Air India had already cancelled their flights between March 25 and March 31 even before the DGCA order to ground all operations were publicly notified. Air India has stopped selling flights across India and abroad till April 30, 2020.
The official line from the Minister responsible for Civil Aviation is still a middle of the road; this does not work for airlines who will need advance notice to regroup their local suppliers such as ground handling agencies to be able to start flights abroad.
As it becomes more apparent that flight operations won’t be cleared for the flight on April 15, 2020, airlines have started to cut out their international flight schedules. Various airlines from India are no longer accepting bookings for international flights at the moment.
Here is IndiGo’s flight booking page for the next fortnight. While IndiGo is accepting domestic bookings, they are not taking international flight bookings at the moment.
Vistara has no flights to offer abroad in the next fortnight too.
SpiceJet is in the same boat.
GoAir as well.
Update: Vistara’s Network Planning has tweeted out that Kathmandu and Colombo are closed till April 30, 2020. That could be one more reason like we mentioned ahead, the aero political landmine.
— Soumen Mukherjee (@MrrMukherjee) April 8, 2020
It looks pretty clear that getting on a plane is not happening in a week or so at the moment. International flights require more work to organise in terms of paperwork and regulatory effort, and can’t be resumed at the drop of a hat. Also, with the current aero political landmine, it would be a hard one for any airline to deal at the moment with regrouping their crew and then not starting flights. So, better to stay put in the status quo at the moment.
It would then be better for you to not make any flight plans for April 15 at the moment, given there is still no clarity on how operations will be on April 15, 2020. Wait it out a bit to get more clarity on how to fly, and only fly if you have to!
What do you make out of the new move of the Indian carriers?
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