Revival relief: Government allows 10% more domestic flights

NEW DELHI: The government on Wednesday allowed airlines to operate 70% of their pre-Covid domestic flight capacity, raising this from 60% allowed till now. With domestic aviation showing signs of revival the permission for operating over 2,100 additional weekly domestic weekly flights has come just ahead of Diwali and will allow airlines to utilise their fleet more.
Aviation minister H S Puri said in a tweet: “Domestic operations recommenced with 30,000 passengers on May 25 and have reached 2.06 lakh on November 8, 2020. (We are) now allowing domestic carriers to increase their operations from existing 60% to 70% of the pre-Covid approved capacity.”
Schedule domestic flights were suspended on March 25 due to the pandemic. They were allowed to resume two months later on May 25 in a phased manner beginning with one-third (33%) of their pre-Covid capacity. When the winter schedule for domestic flights was approved, airlines were allowed to operate 60% domestic flights. Accordingly, the DGCA had cleared a schedule for 12,983 weekly domestic flights covering 95 airports in winter 2020-21 — down 44.3% from 23,307 in winter 2019-20.
Now the number of domestic flights will increase as the allowed capacity has been hiked by 10% to 70%.
Fare bands for domestic flights will remain in force till February 24, 2021, — a three-month extension from the earlier deadline of November 24, 2020.

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