The government has advised all airlines to open bookings only after authorities take an official decision on starting domestic and international commercial passenger flight services. Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri clarified this stance on Twitter.
His tweet read: “The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) clarifies that so far no decision has been taken to open domestic or international operations. Airlines are advised to open their bookings only after a decision in this regard has been taken by the government.”
Airlines had opened up bookings from May 4, after the end of the lockdown
Since it was announced that the lockdown would end on May 3, airlines like Air India opened up bookings on select domestic flights from May 4 and on select international flights from June 1. IndiGo had announced that it would start flight operations in a phased manner from May 4. The private carrier has been taking bookings on select domestic flights since then.
However, after an official announcement by the Civil Aviation Minister, airlines will have to scale back on their bookings as there is no guarantee that air travel will normalize once the lockdown is lifted. During the lockdown, only cargo flights and special flights authorized by aviation regulator DGCA have been permitted to operate.