In wake of the extended lockdown in India, all domestic and international flights have been suspended till May 31 midnight, according to a notice issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Sunday. However, restrictions will not apply to domestic and international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by the DGCA.
"In view of the decision taken by the government to continue the lockdown up to May 31, prohibiting domestic passenger flight operations has been further extended till 11:59 pm of May 31, 2020," the Indian aviation regulator DGCA said.
This announcement came after the central government extended the nationwide lockdown by two more weeks till May 31 to prevent the spread of coronavirus as the number of positive cases crossed 90,000 on Sunday.
The DGCA said "foreign and domestic airlines shall be suitably informed about the opening of their operations whether international to or from India or domestic, respectively, in due course".
All commercial passenger flights have been suspended in India since March 25, when the lockdown was first imposed to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
According to a CRISIL report, domestic aviation industry will suffer a revenue loss of Rs 24,000-25,000 crore this fiscal (FY21) due to the extension of lockdown. Airlines will be the worst-affected, contributing more than 70% of the losses, or nearly Rs 17,000 crore, followed by airport operators with Rs 5,000-5,500 crore, and airport retailers (including retail, food and beverages and duty-free) with Rs 1,700-1,800 crore, the report said. The agency has also warned that the losses will climb if travel restrictions last longer in hubs such as Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata.
Meanwhile, India reported 4,987 fresh coronavirus cases in 24 hours, highest single-day spike, with 120 deaths in a day, as the country gears to enter its fourth phase of lockdown. The country's total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases jumped to 90,927 on Sunday, according to the latest update by the Union Health Ministry. The tally includes 53,946 active cases, 34,108 cured/discharged, 1 migrated, and 2,872 deaths.
By Chitranjan Kumar