The coronavirus outbreak across the world has not only taken a toll on the lives of many, but has also brought entire industries and businesses to a complete standstill. Covid-19 cases have increased to 3,666 across India and death toll due to the virus has crossed the 100 mark with 109 people having succumbed to it (according to the latest data released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare). While there's paranoia amid lockdown and everyone's scared for their lives, thousands have lost their jobs as well.
The pandemic has crippled sectors such as aviation, tourism, and hospitality. Various travel startups have been shut, hotel and flight bookings are have gone down to zilch and airlines have suffered an unimaginable and unprecedented loss. However, in some good news for the sector, the government may allow domestic and international flight operations in India in a staggered manner after the 21-day lockdown is lifted on April 15.
"As the virus is still spreading in India, we are thinking to permit domestic and international flight operations post April 14 in a staggered manner. Airlines are free to take bookings for any date post April 14," a senior Civil Aviation Ministry official said.
However, the official also added that if the government extends the lockdown post-April 14th then the airlines will have to cancel all the bookings made for that particular period. Remember, all major airlines like IndiGo and Spicejet are already accepting domestic bookings for after April 14 whereas Air India has stalled bookings till the end of April.
The employees and pilots remain worried as they are among those who can't work from home. IndiGo has already put its senior officials on a 25% pay cut while Air India has sent all employees on sabbatical without pay till the end of April. Spicejet has also announced that the employees will see a 10-30% reduction in their salary. In the worst circumstance, Air Deccan hasn't even specified as to when would they resume operations.
Let's hope that the crisis ends soon and our lives switch back to normal. As of now, with over 30 lives lost in a single day, the need of the hour does lie in exercising social distancing and staying indoors. #StayHomeStaySafe
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