India to ban all commercial domestic flights from midnight of March 24

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 23, 2020

Representative image   -  THE HINDU

India will stop domestic flight operations from midnight of March 24. However, there is no clarity about how long this ban will remain in place.

CAPA, an aviation advisory agency, points out that while the timing of the resumption of services is entirely in the control of the government, “ it will most likely be beyond 31 March”.

Airlines have been given till midnight onn March 24 to plan operations to land their aircraft at their destinations before midnight Tuesday. This means that at on least 650 aircraft registered with domestic airlines will be on the ground from midnight Tuesday.

The statement adds that the ban from March 24 does not extend to cargo carrying flights.

The decision to stop domestic airline operations comes less than 48 hours after India banned all foreign airlines from arriving here. The ban on international flights is till March 29.

Earlier in the day, Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal, wrote to the Prime Minister requesting that all flights to and from the state be banned.

Commenting on the grounding of the Indian fleet, CAPA says that the severity of disruption that the Indian aviation industry is experiencing will have an impact that is felt well beyond fiscal year 2021, “unless the government is able to provide quick and meaningful support. Industry stability in the post-COVID period will also depend upon promoters of distressed airlines themselves bringing in significant funds.”

Published on March 23, 2020

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