New Delhi- In wake of fast-spreading coronavirus cases in India, the central government has suspended all domestic commercial flights with effective from midnight 24 March. The government, however, did not clarify on the deadline of the suspension period.
In an unprecedented move the Union Civil Aviation Ministry said in a statement on Monday that no domestic commercial passenger flight would be allowed to operate in the country from March 25 onward.
India, which has already banned international flights for a week from Sunday, has taken this decision to restrict travel amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The operations of domestic schedule commercial airlines shall cease with effect from the midnight that is 23.59 hours IST (Indian Standard Time) on March 24, 2020,” a ministry spokesperson said.
“Airlines have to plan operations so as to land at their destinations before 23.59 hours on March 24, 2020,” the spokesperson added.
However, the spokesperson clarified that the restrictions would not apply to cargo flights.
Earlier in the day, aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had clarified on Twitter that all cargo flights — domestic and international — can operate as usual.
DGCA had also announced a slew of measures for airlines and airports on social distancing, which include ensuring adequate space between passengers and check-in counters and leaving one seat vacant between two passengers, among others.