New Delhi:The state-run Air India has opened bookings for domestic flights from May 4 and for international flights, from June 1.
In a notification on its website, Air India said, "In the light of the ongoing global health concerns, we have currently stopped accepting booking on all domestic flights for travel till May 3, 2020 and on all international flights for travel till May 31, 2020.
"Bookings for select domestic flights for travel from May 4, 2020 and for international flights for travel from June 1, 2020 onwards are Open," Air India said.
It further said that the situation is being constantly reviewed and the customers shall be updated regularly.India has been under national lockdown since March 25, to curb the spread of Novel Coronavirus. The first phase of the lockdown was from March 25 to April 14. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 14 extended the lockdown till May 3.
All domestic and international commercial passenger flights have been suspended during this period.On April 3, Air India had said that it has stopped bookings, both domestic and international, till the end of the month.
The company said from May 4, it will operate domestic flights on select routes after the second phase lockdown ends. Flights will start on international routes from June 1. Private airline companies had already started bookings from May 4.
A senior Air India official told UNI that initially, flights connecting metro cities will be started. Later, the number of flights will be increased, in view of the situation.
He said all the guidelines of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Health Ministry will be followed for the flights. It also includes guidelines on cleanliness in the aircraft, ensuring social distance between passengers during check-in and boarding, and leaving the middle seat empty on the plane.
These instructions were issued by the DGCA at the time when the flights were not completely closed before the lockdown. It was told that passengers will not be able to sit on the side seats. One seat will have to be left vacant in the middle. After this, the airline companies started leaving the middle seat empty.(UNI)