Deep cleaning of the aircraft and several other measures
Go First has been profitable for the past several years and the airline remains on track to receive 12-15 aircraft each year through the end of 2025 in support of our planned growth. We also reaffirm our focus and commitment to punctuality, reliability and the highest level of customer experience.
For the last few weeks the world has been grappling with the devastating consequences of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The aviation industry has been one of the most affected as governments have issued far reaching travel advisories, special events have been postponed or called off, customers have curtailed their individual travel plans and businesses have restricted the movement of their employees.
Travel ban across countries and continents: India has temporarily banned all passengers coming from a host of countries and vice-versa. The list includes European Union (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden), European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), Turkey and the United Kingdom have been prohibited from entering India from any of the Land/Air/Seaport ICPs. This restriction will come into effect from 1200 hrs GMT on March 18, 2020 at the port of first departure, and shall remain till March 31, 2020 and is a temporary measure. Further, all passengers coming from UAE, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait will be placed under compulsory quarantine for a minimum period of 14 days which shall come into effect from 1200 hrs GMT on March 18, 2020 at the port of first departure.
Govt of India latest advisory: https://boi.gov.in/content/advisory-travel-and-visa-restrictions-related-covid-19-0
Airlines across the world have taken drastic measures to handle this extraordinary situation. Various reports have shown that the world's leading airlines (United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, Emirates Airline, British Airways, Lufthansa Airline, Cathay Pacific, Malaysian Airlines, Bangkok Airways et al) are reducing flight capacity between 50 to 90% in April and May.
With all these countries introducing travel bans, Go First is forced to temporarily suspend all its international operations (Dammam, Kuwait, Muscat, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bangkok, Phuket and Male) starting 17th March 2020 until 15th April 2020.
Travel advisories within India: Various state governments and local bodies have issued travel advisories to not to travel, avoid congregation, work from home and in essence, maintain social distancing. As a result, inter-state travel too has been curtailed.
Go First has enhanced all of its cleaning procedures in the interest of our customers' and employees' health and safety. There is nothing more important than this. We have also tried to put our customers at ease by offering them a waiver on change fees so that they can be confident about booking their travel today while maintaining full flexibility in the future. Despite going over and above to implement these safeguards, the sharp decline in air travel that we are currently experiencing is unprecedented.
Go First has initiated a short term rotational leave without pay program that will not only help the company counter the short term reduction in capacity, but will also ensure that a cross section of our employees stay away from the workplace for a month at a time to ensure business continuity. Knowing that this will put a financial burden on the affected employees and having studied what companies have done in other countries to help guide our plans, this decision was not taken lightly.
In addition to addressing our short term financial and network requirements, airlines in India have petitioned the Government of India for immediate support, as most other governments around the world have already provided to their similarly affected airlines. We have also taken many immediate measures to make our business more efficient; measures that will help us create an even stronger airline in the long run.
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