Centre Says No Flights Until Next Order
Hours after Air India announced booking of flights on selected domestic and international routes from May 4 and June 1 respectively, the government said that no decision on opening air travel was taken.
No decision on air travel yet
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said in a tweet the ministry clarified that no decision had been taken to open domestic or international flights and that airlines were advised to accept bookings only after a decision in that regard had been taken by the government.
Earlier the state-run career Air India that it wasn’t taking any booking for domestic flights till May 3, the last day of extended lockdown. Also, Air India denied booking tickets for international flights till May 31. It said on its website that the situation was being constantly reviewed and they would keep the travellers updated.
Air India planes had been in cargo duties on domestic as well as international routes including Chia that was the epicentre of novel coronavirus pandemic.
Air India flying cargo planes
On Friday morning, Air India B-787 aircraft left for Guangzhou In China from New Delhi. The flight was carrying medical supplies from China. On Wednesday, Air India said that it carried 170 tonnes of medical supplies for COVID-19 from Shanghai and Hong Kong in one day.
Flights in lockdown
Only cargo flights are operating in the country. According to Civil Aviation Ministry, these are “Lifeline Udan” flights and they are being operated to transport essential medical cargo to remote areas of the country. Till date a total of 227 flights have transported 407.40 tons of cargo.