Airlines sell tickets for June
Some airlines have started bookings for flights from June onwards, sources said even as commercial flight services remain suspended till May 31 because of the coronavirus-induced lockdown. A SpiceJet spokesperson, however, said its international bookings were closed till June 15.
Commercial flights have been suspended since March 25 the day the country-wide lockdown began to curb the spread of coronavirus.
“Domestic airlines have opened bookings for their flights from June onwards,” one of the sources said on Monday.
Sources at IndiGo and Vistara said they were taking bookings for domestic flights.
When contacted, a SpiceJet spokesperson, in a statement, said, “Our international bookings are closed till June 15.” There was no official comments from IndiGo, Vistara and GoAir on the commencement of bookings.
On Monday, Sudhakara Reddy, national president of the Air Passengers Association of India (APAI), had raised an alert that some airlines were commencing bookings.
“We understand 6E (IndiGo), SpiceJet, GoAir have started taking bookings for international flights, imagining that flights will operate from June 1. Please don’t fall for it. Your money will become a credit shell, instead keep it safe at home,” he claimed in a tweet.
Soon after the nationwide lockdown was extended till May 31, aviation regulator DGCA on Sunday said all scheduled commercial passenger flights have been suspended till May 31 midnight.
“Foreign and domestic airlines shall be suitably informed about the opening of their operations whether international to or from India or domestic, respectively, in due course,” it added.
After the airlines did not refund customers in cash in the initial phase of the lockdown for the cancelled flights, the civil aviation ministry had asked domestic carriers to give full refund to customers seeking cancellation of tickets booked during that period.
The advisory was issued after several people complained on social media about their ordeal with domestic airlines which decided not to give any refund in cash for cancelled flights during the lockdown and instead issued a credit shell for future travel.
The ministry had said any ticket booked between the lockdown period of March 25 to May 3 is entitled to get full refund without any cancellation charges. There has been no advisory since then.