Aviation regulator DGCA has extended the suspension of domestic flights by a fortnight till April 14 in view of the ongoing 21-day nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus crisis.
The Director General of Civil Aviation had earlier stopped operations of passenger flights on all domestic routes from March 25 to March 31.
"All domestic operators engage in scheduled, non-scheduled and private aircraft operations in India shall ensure strict compliance of the order," said a DGCA circular.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of the disease.
The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country has risen to 724. Besides 640 active cases, the country has reported 17 casualties so far. As many as 66 persons have recovered.
The aviation industry has been one of the major economic sectors to have been impacted due to the pandemic and there have been calls for government support to the sector.
Aviation consultancy CAPA has projected initial losses of $3.3-3.6 billion for the Indian aviation industry in the first quarter of FY2021 in the eventuality of all air services including domestic remaining shut until June due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"India's aviation sector could incur losses of USD 3.3-3.6 billion in Q1 FY2021. Assuming that all domestic and international operations remain grounded until Jun 30," the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) India said in its preliminary report.
According to the CAPA, the airline sector losses are expected to be around $1.75 billion while that of the airports and concessionaires at around $1.50-1.75 billion and another $80-90 million losses of the ground handling companies.
Noting that the domestic airline sector was already vulnerable even prior to the advent of COVID-19, the CAPA said most Indian airlines have not structured their business models to be able to withstand even regular shocks, such as elevated fuel prices or economic downturns, let alone once-in-a-century events.