On Saturday, Air India announced that it has decided to start booking on select domestic and international routes from May 4 and June 1 respectively. However, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that airlines are advised to open bookings only after the government has decided to start domestic and international commercial passenger flight service. He tweeted that the aviation ministry clarifies that no decision has been taken to open domestic or international airlines yet. Airlines are advised to open the booking only after the government has decided in this regard.
A notification on the website of Air India states that in view of global health concerns, the booking of all domestic flights has been stopped till May 3, 2020. Similarly, all international flights have been banned till 31 May 2020. This means that domestic and international flights of Air India will be suspended till May 3 and May 31 respectively.
It has been said in the notification that booking of domestic flights for travel on select routes from May 4 and international flights has started from June 1. It is noteworthy that lockdown is in force in India from March 25 to curb the spread of coronavirus. The first phase of the lockdown was from 25 March to 14 April. On April 14, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended the lockdown till May 3. All domestic and international passenger flights have been suspended during this period. On April 3, Air India said that it had stopped booking both domestic and international by the end of the month.