IndiGo to suspend meal service, fill only 50% seats in airport buses post COVID-19 lockdown

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Once the coronavirus lockdown is over in India and commercial passenger flights are permitted again, IndiGo will deep clean its aircraft more frequently, stop in-flight meal service for a brief period and will fill the maximum 50% seats in airport buses, airline’s CEO Ronojoy Dutta said on Friday.

Also read | Decision to allow airlines to accept bookings from April 14 sharply cricitised

“In situations like these, companies do not have growth or profitability but only 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 said.

Dutta said IndiGo’s plan post lockdown will be going forward to first start the services 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.

Also read | DGCA issues guidelines for aircraft storage and their return to service

“But we will deep clean our aircraft more frequently, we will discontinue meal service for a brief period and 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 said in an email to employees on Friday, which has been accessed by PTI.

India has imposed a 21-day lockdown till April 14 to curb the coronavirus pandemic. Consequently, all domestic and international commercial passenger flights have been suspended for this time period.

Also read | DGCA extends pilots’ licences nearing expiry by 90 days

However, cargo flights, offshore helicopter operations, medical evacuation flights and special flights permitted by Indian aviation regulator DGCA are permitted to operate during the lockdown.

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