IndiGo to fly planes half-full with no meal service for some time, whenever flights restart – Times of India


NEW DELHI: IndiGo will resume operations “slowly at first” whenever the lockdown is lifted with onboard social distancing measures like half-filled aircraft and no meal service for some time. The airline is taking all steps to cut costs and conserve precious cash.
The government will soon decide on whether to extend the 21-day national lockdown, and if so by how many days. Odisha has decided to extend it till April 30. On resumption of schedule commercial flights, aviation minister H S Puri had tweeted on April 2: “The current lockdown on both domestic and international passenger flights is till April 15. A decision to restart the flights after this period remains to be taken. If required, we will have to assess the situation on a case by case basis.”

IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta wrote in a mail to employees Friday: “We do not know when the lockdown will be lifted but our plan going forward is to start the airline up slowly at first and gradually ramp up the capacity. We have always been very safety conscious and now we must be health conscious as well. With this in mind, we are looking at changing many of our operating procedures.”
“The new set of procedures have not been finalised yet. But we will deep clean our aircraft more frequently, we will be discontinue meal service for a brief period and we will run our coaches at a maximum load of 50% capacity. We will be coming out with the new set of operating procedures very soon,” Dutta’s mail added.
He said the airline management’s focus “is to look after all our stakeholders, our customers, our employees, our investors and the community we serve.” “We are making sure that we are taking decisive actions with each set of stakeholders in mind…. In situations like these, companies do not manage to growth or profitability but to liquidity. That means our singular focus is on cash flow. We are examining all our fixed costs and looking for ways to minimise them.”
He told employees that the “most important thing right now is to focus on our health and the health of the people around us.”


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