Govt suspends domestic airline operations from March 24 midnight

New Delhi: The government has decided to suspend domestic airline operations starting midnight of March 24 in order to contain Coronavirus infection. In an official statement released on Monday, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said, “The operations of domestic schedule commercial airlines shall cease operations with effective from the mid night that is 23.59 hours IST on 24/3/2020.”

The move will bring conveyance in the country to a standstill, with Railways having suspended train services already. At least 80 districts are currently under lockdown as part of measures to curb Coronavirus spread.
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Coronavirus: Domestic airline operation to cease by March 24 midnight

The release advised that domestic airline operations be planed in a way so as to land at their destination before 2359 hours on 24/3/2020.  “The restrictions shall not apply to solely cargo carrying flights,” added the statement.

The government has also announced the cancellation of all international flights, starting early morning on Monday.

The backdrop

The news comes a day after it was decided that a complete lockdown will be put into place in 75 districts across India to curb the spread of the virus. The number of districts under lockdown has now risen to 80. These districts have either reported confirmed cases or casualties relating to COVID-19. Only essential services will be allowed in these districts. Along with this, train services, inter-state bus service, metro service, and all public transport service also stands cancelled in order to contain the Coronavirus spread. So far, 430 people in India have tested positive for the virus.