Monday, April 20, 2020

Airlines fall in line, shut bookings for now; SpiceJet, GoAir to open from May 16

Following strict directions from the Ministry of Civil Aviation and industry regulator DGCA, airlines in the country have stopped accepting bookings for travel from May 4.

GoAir, which was accepting bookings until about 10 am on April 20, also later joined its peers and declined searches for travel on May 04.

IndiGo and Vistara have opened their online counters for booking from June 01. On SpiceJet and GoAir, a customer can book tickets for travel from May 16.

The changes will bring some semblance of certainty, especially after customers increasingly took to social media platforms to air their ire.The airlines had earlier allowed bookings for travel from April 15, hoping that the first lockdown - from March 25 to April 14 - will be lifted. But the government, on the face of increasing cases of COVID-19 infections, extended the lockdown to May 3. Airlines though kept counters open.

Customers who had booked hoping to travel from April 15 were unhappy about the flight cancellation, and airlines declining to refund tickets and instead, offering credit shells.

The complaints prompted the ministry to swing into action. On April 18, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Twitter: "Airlines are advised to open their bookings only after a decision in this regard has been taken by the Government."
20/04/20 Prince Mathews Thomas/
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