Published on : Saturday, April 4, 2020
India’s flag carrier Air India has decided to stop all bookings for domestic and international flights till April 30. The plan comes as the nation awaits a decision from the government about further updates on the nationwide lockdown that is set to be lifted on April 14.
Meanwhile, other carriers like IndiGo, SpiceJet, and GoAir have begun taking bookings for domestic flights starting April 15. SpiceJet and GoAir have also started providing tickets for international flights that will resume operations from May 1.
Commercial flights on domestic and international routes have been suspended till April 14 amid the nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease. However, Pradeep Singh Kharola, Civil Aviation Secretary informed that airlines are permitted to take ticket bookings for any date after April 14.
On Friday, Air India’s pilot unions opposed the 10 percent cut in employees’ allowances. Pilots were of the opinion that the decision was unequal and goes against the direction provided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. According to the Indian Prime Minister’s appeal companies were requested to ensure that the salaries of employees are not slashed amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Air India pilots mentioned in a written statement towards CMD of Air India that Directors & Management Executives have deviously exempted themselves from any meaningful austerity cut by effecting a cut only on pilot allowances as their allowances are extremely small. They mentioned that the pay cut on allowance is unequal and refrained from accepting the proposal.
A senior spokesperson from Air India has mentioned in a recent press statement that providing an allowance to book flights with reduced passenger demand would not be commercially viable for flight operations. In such a scenario, Air India might even have to refund the passengers for the cancelled flights. Therefore, the carrier has decided to reduce its liability by suspending all bookings temporarily.