Monday, June 15, 2020

Reopening Indian skies: How many flights are up, how many planes are being used and other questions answered

It has been over two weeks since domestic flying re-started in India after a surprise announcement on Twitter from the minister of civil aviation. It has been challenging for the airlines to get up and running within days after grounding over 650 commercial aircraft on March 25. This was coupled with state governments wary of accepting passengers from other states leading to delay in opening up of certain airports like Kolkata. Even today, there aren’t any flights between Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. No sooner had this confusion settled, a new one started – this time with the data which was published which mixed up departures with air traffic movements.

As airlines increase presence, this article goes behind the numbers for one single day – looking at the planes, utilisation, presence and more.

Mondays and Fridays have traditionally been the busiest days in the skies. For this calculation, I looked at Friday, June 12, to see what airlines are doing in an environment which is not only highly challenging but also regulated – artificially!

Since the day of grounding to the day or re-start and beyond, airlines have been involved in repatriation flights, cargo as well as carrying passengers to isolation facilities across the country. While these continue, it is prudent that such are exempted from the calculation.
15/06/20 Ameya Joshi/
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