NEW DELHI: A circular was issued by the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) on Saturday, 2 May which said that domestic and international flights have been suspended till 17 May 2020, now that the Home Ministry has extended the lockdown for the coming 2 weeks, after 3 May.
Although the ban has not been initiated for international all-cargo operations and all the fights that have the approval of DGCA.
In an interview, Conrad Clifford, who is the Regional Vice President of the Asia Pacific at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said, "The situation for India is very severe indeed. This is absolutely unprecedented. It is particularly damaging when you think that pre-Covid India was the fastest-growing market in the world and we celebrated 54 months of double-digit passenger growth, which is unprecedented. India was swiftly moving towards number three spot in terms of local aviation markets."
When it came to practising social distancing norms in flights, Clifford revealed, "Some governments are saying that the centre seat on aircraft should be kept empty, as part of social distancing. Firstly, there is no scientific evidence to support that measure that it has any effect at all, except that it does render 90 per cent of the world's airlines unprofitable because it restricts the maximum load factor to about 67 per cent. Measures like that, we'd like to discuss with governments."