Coronavirus: Domestic Flights To Stop Operating In India
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A day after India's Railway Board cancelled all passenger trains across the country till March 31 owing to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Centre has announced that "the operations of domestic schedule commercial airlines shall cease operations" with effect from 11.59 pm on March 24.
Airlines have been asked to plan operations so as to land at their destination before the given time. The release added that the restrictions shall not apply to flights that are only carrying cargo.
Such measures have come as the number of people testing positive for the virus has steadily increased in the country over the last week and at the time of publication, stood at 433. Globally, the death toll has crossed 15,400.
Lockdowns Across the Country
At least 83 districts across the country are currently under lockdown with permission to stay open given only to essential services such as grocery and healthcare.
To ensure that supplies are not interrupted, goods trains continue to be operational. State governments have also suspended all Metro rail services and inter-state transport buses till March 31.
The shutdowns were announced on Sunday when the country was observing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call to have a 'Janata Curfew' where citizens were requested not to come out of their houses between 7 am and 9 pm.
Aviation Industry Hit
Earlier this month, the parent company of India’s largest airline IndiGo said it had seen a 15-20 per cent fall in daily bookings over the past few weeks and warned of a hit to quarterly earnings.
The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) last week noted that by the end of May 2020, most airlines in the world will be bankrupt.