Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that no decision has been taken on starting domestic, international flight operations yet
Indian Railways and airlines are unlikely to resume their operations after May 3rd, 2020. All the airlines have been told not to take bookings after May 3rd, 2020, as per reports.
The decision has been taken to maintain social distancing in order to break the chain of transmission of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which has infected more than 15,000 people in India, killed more than 500.
Union Civil Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said airlines are advised to open bookings only after the government takes a decision on starting domestic and international commercial passenger flight services.
“The Ministry of Civil Aviation 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,” Civil Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri wrote on Twitter.
The tweet came hours after Air India on its website said that it is taking bookings for travel from May 4th, 2020 on some domestic routes and from June 1st, 2020 for international routes.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 14th, 2020 announced that the country will continue to maintain restrictions till May 3rd, 2020 to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation clarifies that so far no decision has been taken to open domestic or international operations.
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) April 18, 2020
Following Modi’s announcement, Indian Railways said its passenger train services will remain suspended till May 3rd, 2020.
“All passenger train services on Indian Railways including Premium trains, Mail/Express trains, Passenger trains, Suburban Trains, Kolkata Metro Rail, Konkan Railway etc shall continue to remain cancel till the 2400hrs of 3rd May 2020,” the Indian Railways said in a release. However, the movement of goods and parcel trains will continue to ensure the essential supplies in various parts of the country.
The railways said all passenger ticket bookings will also be cancelled. No advance reservations shall continue until further notice.
Passenger train services cancelled till 3rd May 2020
All ticket counters will remain closed
Advance online ticket booking stopped completely
Online cancellation facility will remain functional
— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) April 14, 2020
“For the cancelled trains, a full refund of fares shall be arranged to the passengers. Resumption of train services as may be warranted in consideration of public safety, keeping in view the emergent situation, shall be announced in due course,” it added.