Low-cost carrier GoAir is likely to resume domestic flight services from June 1, owing to certain “operational and regulatory” issues, sources said.
“We have bookings from June 1 onwards as the government had earlier disallowed airlines from taking bookings till May 31. We have some issues such as (providing) simulator training to pilots and renewal of certain licences which have lapsed,” a source told PTI on Friday.
“All these issues will take a couple of days to be sorted out. For this reason, we are expected to resume our services only from June 1,” the source added.
By Friday, except GoAir, all other Indian airlines, including national carrier Air India, had commenced bookings for their domestic flights.
The government on May 20 (Wednesday) announced that domestic flights will restart from May 25 under a comprehensive Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), covering all stakeholders. The decision come despite the ongoing fourth-phase lockdown is yet to get over on May 31.
The Minister of State for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri had earlier said that the government will give ‘sufficient notice’ to the airlines to prepare themselves.
Since the airline’s employees are on leave without pay, they could not go for simulator training earlier, and currently these facilities are not available due to demand, he said.
“Nevertheless, we are preparing to take off the ground again. We plan to operate 100 flights per day with a fleet of 17-18 aircraft, which is one-third of both -our almost total number of daily flights and aircraft,” another source said.
“We have already got the approval for 85 flights. We have filed plans for another 15 flights,” he added.
Response to queries sent to GoAir spokesperson did not elicit any response.
Prior to suspension of all commercial passenger services on March 25 due to the nationwide lockdown to combat coronavirus pandemic, the Wadia Group-owned aviation entity had been flying 280 services daily on national routes, in addition to around 60 on overseas routes with a fleet of 54-56 aircraft.
From providing protective gear like face shields and gowns to cabin crew to deep cleaning of aircraft every 24 hours, airlines are taking various measures as they plan to restart curtailed domestic operations from Monday onwards amid the coronavirus pandemic.