Coronavirus Lockdown: DGCA Directs Airlines to Stop Taking Bookings

Representational image. (Photo: Reuters)

Representational picture. (Photo: Reuters)

Private Indian airways have been taking bookings, ignoring Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri’s “advice” to open bookings solely after the federal government takes a call on resumption of flights.

  • PTI
  • Last Updated: April 20, 2020, 9:58 AM IST

Aviation regulator DGCA directed airways on Sunday to cease taking bookings for journey after May 3, assuring them that they might be given adequate time to restart flight operations. The regulator’s route got here within the night as personal Indian airways have been taking bookings through the day, ignoring Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri’s “advice” on Saturday to open bookings solely after the federal government takes a call on resumption of flights.

Air India heeded to the minister’s recommendation and stopped all bookings on Sunday earlier than the regulator issued the order.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued a round stating, “All airlines are hereby directed to refrain from booking tickets… Further, the airlines may note that they shall be given sufficient notice and time for restarting operations.”

Several passengers have complained on social media towards Indian airways that they aren’t giving refunds for flights cancelled as a result of coronavirus-forced lockdown and as a substitute issuing credit score vouchers for future journey.

On April 16, the Aviation ministry stated passengers can ask airways for a full refund if the bookings have been accomplished through the first section of lockdown for journey as much as May 3. However, the federal government has not taken any resolution until now on whether or not a full refund needs to be given to passengers who booked their tickets earlier than the lockdown for journey through the March 25-May Three interval.

The first section of the lockdown was from March 25 to April 14. The second section started on April 15 and would finish on May 3.

All home and worldwide business passenger flights have been suspended for the lockdown interval. However, cargo and particular flights permitted by the DGCA can fly on this interval. Vistara and Air Asia India instructed PTI on Sunday afternoon that they’d not obtained any discover from the Civil Aviation Ministry on the problem of stopping bookings. The different three main personal Indian airways – SpiceJet, IndiGo and GoAir – didn’t reply to queries by PTI about what motion would they tackle Puri’s recommendation to stop bookings at present.

As all personal carriers continued taking bookings by the day, the DGCA stepped in on Sunday night, stating that earlier circulars of the federal government or the regulator didn’t give “any direction which allows” the airways to start out taking ticket bookings for journey May four onwards. The regulator reiterated what Puri had stated on Saturday – no resolution to start out home or worldwide flight operations from May four has been taken but. The DGCA acknowledged that the route to the cease taking bookings is for “strict compliance by all airlines”.

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