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    Coronavirus impact: Air India closes booking window until April 30

    Coronavirus impact: Air India closes booking window until April 30

    Coronavirus impact: Air India closes booking window until April 30
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    By Anu Sharma   IST (Published)

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    The national carrier is one of the worst-hit airlines as it garnered a large amount of its revenue from international operations.

    National carrier Air India has shut its booking window until April 30 and will review the decision as the situation in the country improves in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak.
    "We have stopped taking bookings from today
    India has imposed a 21-day nationwide lockdown to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in the community. Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on April 2 that the ministry was working on understanding what needs to be done in case the lockdown ends in mid-April, but stressed that airlines should have a contingency plan in place.
    "Airlines are taking bookings. If the lockdown period ends on April 14, then the bookings made can be honoured. If it does not, then the airlines can implement the same measures as they did for the bookings already made till April 14," Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola said on April 2.
    When the government decided to ban all domestic flights from March 25, airlines were unable to repay the full amount of bookings already made by passengers, hence they started issuing credit points equivalent to the booking fare which passengers could use to book tickets for a later date.
    Air India implemented similar measures with respect to canceled bookings and issued credit points to passengers for later use. The lockdown and decline in demand due to the coronavirus pandemic across the world has severely affected the financials of airlines and most carriers have resorted to giving employees leave without pay and/or salary cuts to tide through this difficult period.
    The national carrier is one of the most severely hit airlines as it used to garnered a large amount of its revenue from international operations, which have been suspended since March 23.
    Air India is the country's largest international carrier that operated non-stop long-haul flights.
    The aviation ministry had earlier said that it would decide on a case-to-case basis on resuming international and domestic flights. Social distancing seems to be the best preventive measure to beat the spread of the virus.
    As of April 3, India had reported a total of 2,547 positive cases.
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