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Last Updated : May 22, 2020 12:57 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

GoAir may delay restart of operations, accepting bookings only from June 1, not May 25

All the other airlines are now accepting bookings for travel from May 25

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Low-cost airline GoAir is yet to open its counters for booking, despite the government's decision to re-open the skies from May 25. All other airlines have started accepting bookings.

Industry executives told Moneycontrol, the Wadia family-owned airline is accepting bookings for flights from June 1. A cursory check on the company's website confirmed this.

"The airline is working on re-starting the operations. But there are operational logistics involved. As GoAir has not flown at all for two months, and there was no time for pilots to train," a senior executive from the industry said.

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"A notice of 10 days was expected from the government," the executive said.

The government on May 20 announced that domestic flights will restart on May 25. This is despite the fourth phase of the national lockdown getting over only on May 31.

The Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had earlier said the government will give airlines "sufficient notice." Senior executives from airlines said they were hoping for at least 10 days notice to plan the resumption of flights.

Pilots need to frequently go through simulator training as per regulatory norms. Most of the airlines in India send pilots overseas for this. At the same time, industry executives point out that regulator DGCA had extended the validity of many of these requirements.

The suspension of operations from March 24 has financially squeezed the airlines forcing them to cut salaries and send employees on leave without pay.

In a mail to employees, GoAir promoters Nusli and Jeh Wadia had shared the stress, the airline was going through. The two promoters had noted that even though they have been touch with the Civil Aviation Ministry and the government for financial assistance, "so far no concrete measures have been forthcoming."

Moneycontrol has reached out to GoAir and is awaiting its response.

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First Published on May 22, 2020 12:57 pm
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