Monday, April 20, 2020

IndiGo, Vistara shut bookings till May 31

Following the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation’s (DGCA) circular issued late on Sunday night directing all airlines “to refrain from booking tickets” after May 4, IndiGo and Vistara have decided not to take any bookings till May 31.

SpiceJet’s website shows that the airline is taking bookings from May 16 onwards. Attempts to book any ticket before that on various sectors shows the message “Sorry, no fares available for this date. Please select another date and try.”

A spokesperson of AirAsia India said the airline had complied with the DGCA order issued on April 19. “Until further notice from the regulators,” the spokesperson said when asked whether the airline had stopped bookings indefinitely.

The DGCA circular adds that airlines will be given sufficient notice and time for restarting operations. “This is for strict compliance by all airlines,” the circular says.

Initially, the domestic airlines declined to follow the order and asked for greater clarity on when they would be allowed to reopen bookings.  But after some time, they decided to follow the latest DGCA circular, though with different dates till when they are not taking bookings. While SpiceJet is not taking bookings till May 15, domestic market leader IndiGo is not taking bookings till May 31. What prompted this change in thinking in the airlines was not immediately clear.

With IndiGo, the market leader with a close to 50 per cent domestic market share adhering to the government order on bookings, it was a matter of time before others also complied.
20/04/20 Ashwini Phadnis/Business Line
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