All Domestic flights in India have been ordered to stop operations commencing 11.59 IST on 24 March (Tuesday).

Government restriction is applicable to all domestic passenger flights. Cargo flights are exempted from this order.

The order comes in the wake of the nationwide spread of Coronavirus COVID-19. By cutting down the flights, the government intends to contain the spread of the virus further.

Domestic Flights in India Banned as COVID-19 spreads in India & the World

As all Indian states go on lockdown, the government is taking all possible measures to contain the virus.

The decision to ban all domestic flights was taken to control the spread.

  • India reported its first COVID-19 case on 30 Jan from Kerala’s Thrissur district. The student came back from Wuhan in China.  
  • As of now, 23 Indian states and 1 Union Territory have reported cases of Novel Coronavirus.
  • As per ICMR, Current infected cases in India stand at 482 cases as of 10 am on 24 March.

States had requested the Union Government to impose a ban on Domestic flights in India

The move to ground all domestic flights has come after several state governments requested the Central government to suspend flights for the fear of COVID-19 spread.

Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in a circular late Monday, 23rd March stated that the ban will remain in force until 31 March midnight.

India had earlier imposed a ban on all international flights from midnight on Sunday for a week.

Ban on Domestic flights in India to continue till 31st March?

Although the ban is supposed to continue till 31st March. The final call on the. The timing and resumption of aviation services is entirely in the control of the government.

Taking into consideration, the current scenario and surge in the number of cases, the ban is likely to stay well beyond 31st March.

Immense Pressure on Airlines and Aviation Sector

The move will put immense pressure on the Indian airlines at a time when the aviation sector along with travel & tourism is facing immense losses amidst the crisis.

  • As per the FICCI survey, titled Impact of Covid-19 on Indian Economy, some domestic airlines have reported a more than a 30% drop in domestic travel this summer, compared with last year, while airfare on popular domestic routes has fallen by 20-25%.
  • According to the Ministry of civil aviation, nearly 585 international flights have been canceled to and from India between 1 February and 6 March because of the outbreak of coronavirus. Cash reserves of airline companies are running low and many are almost at the brink of bankruptcy.

The crisis has affected the Aviation sector worldwide with the sector facing a loss of billions of dollars.

Most international airlines have also stopped and grounded the majority of their flights as demand continues to dip, making the flights commercially non-viable.

Other than India, many other governments have suspended domestic and international flights in a desperate bid to control the spread of the virus.

Here’s a quick look at the airlines that have suspended flights in the last few days:

  • Singapore Airlines grounded 96 percent of its flights on Monday
  • Emirates suspended the majority of its passenger Flights
  • United Airlines has cut around 90% of flights in April and May.
  • American Airlines has halted 75% of international flights through May 6.
  • Delta Airlines has cut 80% of international flights 

The suspension of domestic flights is here to stay and it is very uncertain as to when the flights will be resumed. Travelers stay home, stay safe.

News Source:

  • The Latest On Which Airlines Are Still Flying And Why, Forbes
  • India suspends all domestic passenger flights. Business Insider
  • Coronavirus impact: Govt bans all passenger flights from 25 March, Livemint
  • Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)
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