The government on Sunday directed airlines to discontinue advance bookings for travel from May 4, following which Air India has reversed its earlier decision to sell air tickets.
“It has been noticed that airlines have started booking tickets for journeys with effect from May 4. No decision to commence the operation of domestic/international flights with effect from May 4 has been taken yet. All airlines are hereby directed to refain from booking tickets,” the Civil Aviation Ministry told domestic and foreign airlines. It said the airlines would be given sufficient notice for restarting flights.
The order provides much-needed clarity to both the airlines and passengers and follows an outcry over the manner in which the airlines continued to amass passengers’ money, only to issue credit notes later when flights would be cancelled due to an extended lockdown
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Air India reversed its earlier decision . “The airline is currently not taking bookings.”
Several other airlines like IndiGo and Vistara, which had announced their decision to open bookings post-May 3, are expected to fall in line.
Following the Group of Ministers’ meeting on Saturday, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri said on Twitter: “So far no decision has been taken to open domestic or international operations. Airlines are advised to open their bookings only after a decision has been taken by the government.”