Flight ops from May 4, airlines tell anxious flyers

Hyderabad: Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement on the extension of nationwide lockdown on Tuesday, airline operators were flooded with queries from passengers, who had booked flights between April 15 and May 3. While many, stranded in places away from their families, sought help to return home, others appealed for refunds and rescheduling of their travel plans.
Following a flood of anxious questions from travellers, some carriers confirmed that they would begin operations from May 4, albeit in a phased manner.
“Initially starting with a slightly curtailed capacity, the airline will increase the operating capacity over the subsequent months, also re-opening selected international flights, depending on the existing international travel guidelines,” IndiGo airlines said in its statement.
“My wife is pregnant and about to give birth in two days. On this (April)15th, I booked flight ticket from Hyderabad to Rajahmundry Now lockdown is extended. If flights are running from tomorrow I want to go my hometown Rajahmundry(sic)” tweeted N Krishna Chowdary. He also appealed to Telangana industries minister K T Rama Rao for assistance.
Another person, Durga Singh, who is also caught in a similar situation, has written to the authorities in both Goa and Hyderabad, hoping to find some way to return to the city. “I’m a resident of Hyderabad and have been stuck in a hotel for 27 days. My flight has been cancelled two times. I want to go back to my home in Hyderabad,” he said.
Meanwhile, dozens of other travellers sought clarity over the status of their current bookings even as most airlines offered a credit note — with a one-year validity — against every cancellation.
“@flyspicejet: I booked a flight from Hyderabad to Jaipur for 15th April, 2020. As govt has again imposed lockdown, so the flights should have got cancelled. But Spicejet has not cancelled the flight and also no clue about refund of the money. Please resolve my query asap,” tweeted Harsh Lakhwani. While the carrier has offered a credit shell, which can be used till February 2021, Lakhwani demanded a refund.
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