Coronavirus: Centre extends suspension of domestic, international commercial flights till May 3 midnight

All domestic and international scheduled airlines operations shall remain suspended till 11.59 pm of 3rd May 2020, the ministry tweeted.

The Civil Aviation Ministry on Tuesday said all the international and domestic commercial passenger flights will remain suspended till midnight of May 3.

The decision comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced that the lockdown across the country will be extended till May 3 to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The extension of the lockdown was on expected lines as states like Odisha, Maharashtra, and Telangana had already announced extensions till April 30.

Domestic and international commercial passenger flights were earlier suspended from March 25 to April 14.

"All domestic and international scheduled airlines operations shall remain suspended till 11.59 pm of 3rd May 2020," the ministry tweeted.

After the ministry's tweet, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said there were good reasons for the lockdown to be extended till May 3.

"We can consider lifting restrictions on both domestic and international flights thereafter. I understand the problems being faced by people who need to travel and request them to bear with us," the Minister tweeted.

The civil aviation sector has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this month, Air Deccan became the latest casualty of the crisis as it announced an indefinite suspension of flight operations and asked all employees to go on sabbatical without pay.

As revenue has fallen significantly due to the coronavirus crisis, IndiGo has announced a pay cut of up to 25 percent for its senior employees, and Vistara announced a compulsory leave without pay of up to three days for its senior employees in March.

SpiceJet has stated that its employees' salaries would be reduced between 10 to 30 percent, and Air India has announced a 10 percent cut in allowances for every employee, except cabin crew, for the coming three months.

GoAir has cut salaries of its employees, laid off its expat pilots, and introduced leave without pay for employees on a rotational basis.

Edited by Suman Singh