Representational image
Representational image

India's Minister of Civil Aviation, Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday took to Twitter to indicate that airline restrictions will remain in place until officials are "fully confident that the spread of the virus has been controlled".

""My heart goes out to people who are facing problems due to restrictions put in place on domestic & international flights, pursuant to the situation arising out of the timely announcement of a nationwide Lockdown," Puri took to Twitter to write.

He added that the restrictions would only be lifted "once we are fully confident that the spread of the virus has been controlled and it poses no danger to fellow Indians".

As part of a pan-India lockdown in place till April 14, most flights -- both domestic and international -- have remained cancelled. This rule has been put in place for commercial flights, to ensure that people do not travel and consequently to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

While several companies including IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir and Vistara have started taking bookings from the 15th onward, Air India has announced that it will not take bookings until the end of April.

In other related news, regional carrier Air Deccan recently shut shop and put employees on a sabbatical without pay "until further notice". In a letter the company's CEO said that this was in light of "recent global and domestic issues and subsequent directive by the Indian regulator".

While no definite date has so far been given for resuming flights, there has also been rumours that the lockdown may get extended -- at least for some areas. As per reports that quoted government sources, this, as well as a phased removal of the lockdown restrictions is under consideration.

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