The spread of coronavirus is on a spree due to which government has extended the lockdown to May 3 2020. All economic operations, businesses and activities of the country are halted. The adverse consequences of the lockdown is felt in the aviation sector. According to the International Air Transport Association, airlines globally can lose in passenger revenues up to $113 billion due to this crisis.
After the announcement of cancellation of all regular domestic and international passenger flights till May 3 in the wake of Corona virus ‘Covid-19’, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has said that after the lockdown, domestic and international passenger airlines can be considered to start. At the same time, in the discussion organized on the topic ‘Covid-2020 and after’, former chairman of Air India and Railway Board Ashwani Lohani said that people will be apprehensive to use air transport for some time.
All domestic and international flights cancelled
The Ministry of Civil Aviation announced the cancellation of regular passenger flights for the next 19 days following the government’s decision to extend the lockdown period from March 25 to May 3 across the country to prevent corona virus infection. The ministry said in a tweet “All regular domestic and international flights are suspended for 11:59 minutes on May 3 night.”
Puri said in a tweet “There were sound reasons to extend the lockdown to 03 May. We can then consider lifting the ban on both domestic and international flights. I understand the urgency of some people to travel but request them to be patient. ” In view of Covid-19, all international flights to and from the country are cancelled from 22 March. Domestic flights have also been suspended since March 25. The 21-day lockdown period from March 25 across the country ended on Tuesday. However, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced to extend it for 19 days more till May 3 in his addressal to the country today morning.
People will be afraid to travel even after airline starts: Lohani
The tourism industry has demanded the government to encourage ‘nearby tourism’, as the fear of travelling through air can continue among people after the lockdown. In a discussion organized on the topic ‘Covid-2020 and beyond’, former chairman of Air India and Railway Board Ashwani Lohani said that people will be afraid to travel through air. Especially they will be afraid to travel long distances. During the discussion on the option of some experts leaving the middle seat on the plane empty, Lohani said that this could increase travel expenses. We have to make sure that the airline companies are not harmed. He said that the time has come to bring Aircraft fuel under the ambit of Goods and Services Tax (GST) at the earliest. Also, airlines should be given concession in airport fees and navigation fees etc.
Permission for domestic flights should be given as soon as possible
Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director of private airline company SpiceJet, said that the airlines have suffered the most due to the restrictions imposed in the wake of the corona virus. Their revenue is reduced to zero. They also demanded to bring aircraft fuel to GST and provide additional credit for aircraft fuel. Experts involved in the discussion suggested allowing domestic flights as soon as possible after the lockdown opens. He said that the government could take measures to promote ‘nearby tourism’. This will help the tourism and transport industry to get back on track.
Sanat Kaul, president of the International Aviation, Aerospace and Drone Foundation, advised that every passenger arriving for a flight must have a corona-free certificate. He said that it may be mandatory for passengers to conduct ‘Covid-19’ test two to three times before the journey. When the passenger arrives at the airport, he / she must have a corona free certificate.
Total cases in India rise to 10,363; death toll rises to 339
1211 cases have been reported in the country in the last 24 hours. The number of people infected with Corona has increased to 10,363. At the same time, 31 people have died from Corona in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll of the Covid-19 epidemic to 339. According to the latest data released by the Ministry of Health, out of a total of 10,363 cases of corona virus, 8,988 are active cases. In addition, 1035 people have fully recovered or have been discharged from the hospital.
At the same time, 19 lakh 24 thousand 635 have been infected with Coronavirus all over the world. One lakh 19 thousand 686 people have died. At the same time, four lakh 44 thousand 836 have also been cured.