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Indian low-cost carrier Go Airline India has reportedly decided to furlough employees due to the extension of the coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown in the country.

The Indian Government announced that the lockdown will continue until 3 May.

Bloomberg reported that budget carrier GoAir announced indefinite leave without pay for as many as 90% of its employees.

With around 5,500 employees, the carrier was forced to take the decision as the lockdown extension and travel restrictions further impact its cash flow.

GoAir had initially announced pay cuts to most of its employees, followed by a short-term, temporary rotational leave without pay (LWP) programme.

The GoAir email was quoted by Bloomberg as saying: “The lockdown has been further extended until 3 May, and with this extension, our fleet continues to be completely grounded.

“Hence, we are constrained to request you to proceed on leave without pay’ till 3 May. We may, however, have to extend the period of LWP for a further term, if so required.”

In a similar move, another carrier SpiceJet has also announced LWP for one month on a rotational basis.

Last year, Reuters reported that shares in SpiceJet fell almost 19%, even though it offered one-way tickets for $13, along with free meals and seats.

Meanwhile, Union Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri has asked airlines to open their bookings only after the government’s decision on the commencement of flight operations.

Meanwhile, the Indian Government is planning a relief package of up to $1.6bn for the aviation sector due to the pandemic.