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Govt may give 10-day notice to flights to operate

Government sources have stated that airlines and passengers stuck in India are likely to be informed 10 days before flight operations resume. A source added that flight services, which were suspended from 25th March, could commence early June. However, the aviation ministry source stated that flights would only resume for domestic travelling and there are currently no discussions about restarting international operations.

While the government feels that 10 days should be sufficient for airlines to plan their operations, industry executives were divided on whether it would give them time to put together a network, plan fleet deployment, implement safety guidelines and generate adequate bookings. A senior airline executive siad, “booking curve is late in India. Not many book more than 14 days out”.

The aviation industry is jittery about demand for air travel in the post-Covid era, given the need to maintain physical distancing and other norms. Some industry insiders also felt that while the first 3-4 days would be very hectic for the industry owing to pent-up demand, beyond that, the scenario could be dim.