Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Airlines may get 10-day notice to restart flights

New Delhi|Mumbai: Airlines and passengers stranded in India are likely to be informed 10 days before flight operations resume, government sources told ET. One of them suggested that services could commence early June. All commercial flights have been grounded since March 25.
“Restarting operations will depend on the situation with respect to number of (coronavirus) cases but the expectations are that it should start by the first week of June,” said a senior aviation ministry official.
“We plan to allow airlines to open booking 10 days prior to the restart of operations.” This only pertains to domestic services and there are currently no discussions about restarting international operations, he said. While the government feels that 10 days are enough for airlines to restart bookings, industry executives were divided on whether it would give them time to put together a network, plan fleet deployment, implement safety guidelines and generate adequate bookings. “Airlines would need at least 15 days to plan,” said a person close to the development.

Others said there is pent-up demand because people are stuck at various locations. Beyond that, the scenario could be bleak. “The first three four days of 10 days, we will see a lot of bookings because of people stuck in cities. Thereafter, it will fall off a cliff,” said an airline executive.
29/04/20 Mihir Mishra/Economic Times

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