Up to airlines to take bookings post lockdown: Civil Aviation Min

New Delhi, April 2 (IANS) Domestic airlines are free to accept ticket bookings for flights that will be operated post the current lockdown deadline, Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola said on Thursday.

The current lockdown period is till the midnight of April 14 and if this is not extended then these bookings will be honoured, he said at an online press conference.

Presently, domestic airlines have started to accept bookings for flights which are expected to commence from April 15, if the lockdown period is not extended.

At present, no foreign or domestic passenger flight operations are allowed but cargo operations are still underway.

On cargo operations, Kharola said the regulator DGCA has allowed passenger jets of private airlines to be used to transport cargo.

This move, he said, will complement the existing capacity of cargo being handled throughout the country.

Till now under the Centre’s ‘Lifeline Udan’ initiative 85 flights have transported 75 tonnes across the country from March 26-April 1.

Furthermore, Kharola said that private airlines are transporting essential medical supplies for free.

In addition, he added that advisories have been issued to airlines not to charge cancellation or other levies from passengers during this period.

He elaborated that airlines are being encouraged to go in for a credit system, whereby credits are given to the passengers in lieu of their booking amounts.

These credits can then be used to book tickets at a later stage, when the situation normalises.