In a major relief for passengers, national carrier Air India on Saturday announced that it has opened bookings for select domestic flights from May 4 and international flights from June 1.
In a notification on Air India’s website, the airline has informed that in the light of the ongoing global health concerns, it has currently stopped accepting bookings on all domestic flights till May 3 and for international travel till May 31.
It, however, stated that “bookings for select domestic flights for travel from May 4 and for international destinations from June 1 are open”.
It added that the situation is being constantly reviewed.
The announcement comes days after the Ministry of Civil Aviation informed on April 14 that all domestic and international scheduled airline operations have been suspended till 11.59 pm of May 3, the day the lockdown, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to contain the spread of Coronavirus, ends.
Following the announcement, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had said that “there were good reasons for the lockdown to be extended till 3rd May”.
He, however, stated that the Government could consider ending the restrictions on domestic and international flights after May 3.
In March, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had announced the extension of restrictions on domestic and international travel till April 14 in view of the 21-day nationwide lockdown.
However, cargo aircraft, offshore helicopter operations, medical evacuation flights and special flights permitted by Indian aviation regulator DGCA have been permitted to operate during the lockdown.
The aviation sector has been hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic. Airlines have either slashed salaries or asked employees to go on a sabbatical without pay.