After internal email goes viral, Air India says flight bookings are closed for now
National carrier Air India on Sunday reiterated that flight bookings for domestic travel are currently closed and will resume only after proper instructions from the Union government.
“Keeping in mind the prevailing situation due to Covid-19, it is informed that all domestic scheduled flights stand cancelled till 31st May 2020 excepting the flights operating as Charter and Evacuation Flights. The date of commencement of operation would be advised to all concerned in due course,” an internal Air India email read.
The e-mail had somehow found its way to social media and was widely circulated on WhatsApp groups. The airline immediately issued a clarification on Sunday afternoon.
“An internal Air India email is circulating on WhatsApp. This is to clarify it is an internal communiqué. Commencement of commercial domestic or international flights will be announced by the Government of India. Passengers are requested to follow the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Air India Twitter handle and respective websites for official announcement regarding resumption of operations,” an Air India spokesperson said.
Earlier this month, the airline had opened bookings for those passengers who met eligibility criteria and wished to travel from India to London, Singapore and select destinations in the United States on flights operating between May 8 to May 14.
The flights scheduled to ply were part of the ‘Vande Bharat’ mission from Kochi to Abu Dhabi, Delhi to Singapore and Calicut to Dubai and other nations where Indians were stranded due to lockdowns imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The first scheduled flight under India’s massive ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ to bring back stranded Indians from abroad flew from New Delhi to Singapore on May 7.
With lockdown 3.0 scheduled to draw to a close by Sunday night, the nation and several industrial sectors are gearing up to enter lockdown 4.0, albeit with minimal restrictions in those cities or areas which have reported no new Covid-19 positive cases in the last 14 days.