Thursday, September 03, 2020

Govt allows domestic carriers to increase flights to 60% of Pre-COVID times

As passenger demand increases and airlines are flying with more seats full, the aviation ministry today allowed airlines to increase the number of flights to 60% of the total flights operated pre-COVID from 45% currently.
 The review was done after a total number of flights operated by commercial airlines in India crossed 1,000 flights a day during the month of August. On the first day of September, airlines operated 1,121 flights a day. Before COVID hit the airline sector in March, Indian carriers operated about 2,500 domestic flights daily. An airline executive told ET that loads are improving in flights and some of them have even reported as high as 10 percentage points surge in their load factors – percentage of seats filled per flight.
 The government had allowed domestic airlines to start flights from the last week of May and allowed them to operate only 33% of the pre-COVID flights, which was later increased to 45% during early August. Industry insiders say that passengers will start flying more, as various state governments have relaxed or abolished quarantine norms as well allowed passengers to travel without any COVID19 negative certificate. One of the contributing factors for the increase in flights further is likely to be the Maharashtra government’s decision to allow Mumbai airport double the daily flight limit to 200 flights – both arrival and departure.
 03/09/20 Economic Times
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