Shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended the nationwide lockdown till May 3, the civil aviation ministry announced the suspension of all passenger flights during the period.
However, aviation minister Hardeep Puri said the government could consider lifting the restrictions on domestic and international flights once the lockdown ends. “I understand the problems being faced by people who need to travel and request them to bear with us,” he said.
There were good reasons for the Lockdown to be extended till 3rd May.
We can consider lifting restrictions on both domestic & international flights thereafter.
I understand the problems being faced by people who need to travel & request them to bear with us.
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) April 14, 2020
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the aviation industry in India is expected to face losses worth $3 billion-$3.6 billion in the June quarter, Capa India had said in a report last week.
The report also said that the industry will also see sharp declines in domestic and international passenger traffic. Domestic air passenger traffic might decline to 80-90 million in FY21 from 140 million in FY20, Livemint reports.
On Tuesday, SpiceJet chairman and managing director Ajay Singh said Indian airlines have sought short-term relief from the government after being severely hit by the pandemic.
He, however, said, “People say that India only reforms in a crisis and if that is true, we should certainly use this crisis to bring about the reforms that we have sought for so long”.
(With inputs from agencies)