Air India starts taking bookings for travel from May 4 on some domestic routes and from June 1 for international routes

State-run carrier Air India on Saturday said it has started taking bookings for travel from May 4 on some domestic routes and from June 1 for international routes. The airline said it is, however, not taking any booking for domestic flights for travel till May 3, or the day the extended lockdown over the COVID-19 pandemic is scheduled to end. Air India has also stopped taking bookings for international flights till May 31.
“The situation is being constantly reviewed and we shall keep you updates,” Air India said on its website.
The airline has been sending its planes for cargo duties across the country and on international routes, such as to destinations in China, from where the novel coronavirus outbreak started in December and eventually turned into a pandemic.
An Air India B-787 aircraft left for China’s Guangzhou from Delhi on Saturday morning to pick up medical supplies, news agency ANI reported. On Wednesday, the airline said it carried 170 tonnes of COVID-19 related medical cargo from Shanghai and Hong Kong in one day.
“In the light of the ongoing global health concerns, we have currently stopped accepting bookings on all domestic flights for travel till May 3, 2020, and on all international flights for travel till May 31, 2020,” Air India said.
“Bookings for select domestic flights for travel from May 4, 2020, and for international flights for travel from June 1, 2020 onwards are open,” it said.
The country has been under a lockdown since March 25 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The first phase of the lockdown was from March 25 to April 14. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 14 extended it till May 3.
All domestic and international flights except cargo carriers have been grounded.
According to the Civil Aviation Ministry, “Lifeline Udan” flights are being operated to transport essential medical cargo to remote parts of the country.
“227 flights have been operated by Air India, Alliance Air Indian Air Force (IAF) and private carriers (138 by Air India and Alliance Air). 407.40 tons Cargo transported till now,” the ministry tweeted earlier this week.
These flights are being operated adhering to safety protocols laid down by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation or DGCA.