Domestic flights, passengers trains suspended till May 3
Shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended the nationwide lockdown for 19 more days, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Tuesday announced that all domestic and international flights will remain suspended till May 3. "All domestic and international scheduled airlines operations shall remain suspended till11:59pm of 03 May 2020," the aviation body said in a tweet.
Last week, national carrier Air India had stopped bookings for domestic and international flights till April 30 while IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir were taking bookings for domestic flights starting April 15.
India has allowed countries like the US, UK and Germany to conduct special flights during the lockdown to take their citizens back home. Air India has also extended its services to countries such as Germany, UK and France to facilitate the return of their citizens.
India suspended domestic and international commercial passenger flight operations from midnight on March 24 for 21 days in sync with the nation-wide lockdown. However, cargo flights, medical evacuation flights, offshore helicopter operations and flights specially permitted by the aviation regulator DGCA have been operating during this time period.
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had on April 3said that airlines can take domestic bookings after April 14 if the 21-day lockdown is not extended further.
Meanwhile, the Indian Railways also suspended all passenger trains till May 3 after the prime minister's address. The railways said no advance booking of train tickets will be allowed till further notice. "Resumption of train services may be warranted… Keeping in view emergent situation," it said.
The prime minister Tuesday extended the lockdown till May 3 saying there will be strict enforcement of lockdown till April 20 and there could be relaxation in some areas if the situation improves.
He, however, did not reveal an economic plan or package for the country despite repeated pleas from chief ministers for urgent measures that could help states tide over the current gloom. He said the government would on Wednesday publish a detailed document with guidelines on how to go about the battle against the pandemic.
After April 20, there will be graded relaxations in areas based on the epidemiological assessment – incidence of the outbreak and the intensity, PM Modi said, adding that restrictions could be reimposed later if there were any fresh cases of COVID-19 found in these areas.
(Inputs and image from theindianexpress.com)
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