There were murmurs if airlines will be allowed to fly after March 31.
Aviation regulator DGCA has made it official.
Domestic flights, which were initially suspended till March 31, will now remain so till April 14, which is when the national lockdown also ends. The initial announcement was made on March 23, and flights were stopped from March 25.
The regulator, in a circular issued on March 27, said that the earlier suspension is being extended "till 2359 hrsIST on 14th April ,2020."
It added: "All domestic operators engaged in scheduled, non-scheduled and private aircraft operations in lndia shall ensure strict compliance of the order."
The communication laid all doubts to rest if the airlines will be allowed to restart operations from April 1, once the lockdown gets over. The doubts were raised despite communication from the home ministry saying all kinds of transportation, including air, will be suspended because of the lockdown.
Industry executives say that the latest communication will increase cries from industry players for financial help. They have already asked the government for help to pay employee salaries.
Aviation has been among the most hit because of the COVID-19 outbreak. A report by advisory firm CAPA India had said that the aviation industry could incur a loss of up to $3.6 billion in the first quarter of the next financial year. It had earlier said that half of the jobs in the industry could become redundant.