Coronavirus impact: Vistara joins GoAir to suspend international flights

Vistara is suspending international flights from March 20-31 and curtailing flights on domestic routes as travel advisories and visa bans have hurt demand.

Vistara is the second Indian airline to suspend all international flights due to Covid-19. On Wednesday, GoAir announced suspension of all international flights, one-month implemented leave without pay and terminated contracts of foreign pilots.

Vistara said in a atatement, "Due to the unprecedented impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on border controls and air travel across the world, Vistara is temporarily suspending its international operations from March 20,  2020 to March 31,  2020. The airline has also temporarily adjusted domestic capacity for the months of March and April 2020 in view of reduced demand. Customers booked on the affected flights will be fully refunded."

Meanwhile aviation consultancy CAPA in its report said domestic airlines may initially ground 150 planes and retrench staff if the crisis persists beyond few weeks.

"These extraordinary conditions are expected to impact all of Q1, with the strong possibility of extending into Q2. All Indian airlines will report significant losses in Q1, even with oil prices at around $30 a barrel. At an industry level (excluding Air India), consolidated losses are estimated to be in the range of $500-600 million for the quarter. However, these are very preliminary estimates and are subject to further downward revision," CAPA said.

Most airlines in the world, including Indian carriers, will be bankrupt by the end of May due to the coronavirus pandemic and only coordinated government and industry action right now can avoid the catastrophe, global aviation consultancy firm CAPA has said.



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