Earlier today, the decision to extend the India-wide lockdown till May 3, 2020, was made public. Back in March, airlines were told to ground all aircraft in India and close operations temporarily. Then, it was decided that airlines across the country would park all their aircraft by March 24, 2020, 2359 hours, and not operate any flights till March 31, 2359 hours. You can read the full details of the initial grounding here. From there, the nationwide lockdown went into effect till April 14, 2020, and hence all domestic and international operations to India were ceased as well till April 14, 2359 hours.
All the planes are now parked across the country. Here is a picture of the Bengaluru Airport from a few days ago, where planes are parked all across.
Now, with India lockdown extended through May 3, airlines across India have had to further cancel their schedules through May 3, 2020, 2359 hours. Here is an official notification to this effect by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
Airlines have already started to cancel flights and update their cancellation periods. Air India had already discontinued the sale of flights till April 30, 2020. Other airlines had followed to close the sale of international flights only, but selling a curtailed domestic schedule.
I had advised people not to buy tickets for flights on April 15 and onwards, for the time being. It turns out, my worse fears did come true, because airlines have now decided to keep your money for flights between April 15, and May 3, 2020, as well. Here is the first such note I saw, which was subsequently deleted.
No flying for those in India till May 3, 2020. I guess the only people who will end up flying will be any foreign nationals who will be extracted out of India at the moment. And if you are planning to fly after the ban is over, don’t book any tickets yet, because you don’t know when this ends. Unless of course, you like to keep your money in credit shells.
How are you all holding up through all the chaos around us?
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