India grounds all its domestic commercial flights starting midnight

  • The ministry of civil aviation ordered the grounding of all commercial flights in India from March 25.
  • The restrictions shall not apply to solely cargo-carrying flights
  • This came after airlines truncated their international routes last week after the government imposed travel ban across various countries in Europe, Middle-East and Asia.
The Indian ministry of civil aviation ordered the grounding of all commercial flights in India from Wednesday (March 25) starting midnight onward as it prepares to combat the Coronavirus outbreak.

“Airlines have to plan operations so as to land at their destination before 2359 hours on 24/3/2020 The restrictions shall not apply to solely cargo-carrying flights,” the release from the ministry of civil aviation stated.

This ban will not apply to cargo flights, said Kapil Kaul, the head of aviation industry body to CNBCTV18.

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Airlines truncated routes after travel ban

This came after airlines truncated their international routes when the government imposed travel ban across various countries including Europe, Middle-East and some of the Asian nations.

Domestic travel too has been affected as people stay away from non-essential travel. Budget carrier GoAir suspended its operations for 28 days in some Northeastern states ensuing travel restrictions, officials said.

“The proposed flight between Delhi and Aizawl, which was announced to be introduced by the GoAir authority from March 29, has been put off and would be rescheduled once the situation is normal,” the Mizoram government’s principal consultant for civil aviation, wing commander J. Lalhmingliana, told the media in Aizawl.
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After UAE imposed travel restrictions, airlines such as Air India and IndiGo too truncated their flight operations.

The development comes after reports cited the UAE government suspended visas for all foreigners with the exception of diplomatic passport holders from March 17 in the wake of the growing coronavirus scare.

On its part, Air India truncated some of its operations to the gulf state from March 18. Besides, IndiGo said that owing to the curbs; the airline will cancel some of its flights to Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi from March 17 until the travel restrictions are lifted.
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“We regret the inconvenience caused to our customers, and will be refunding the full amount to the impacted passengers,” the airline said in a statement.

SEE ALSO: Coronavirus cases in India state wise

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