Thursday, November 12, 2020

Civil Aviation Ministry Allows Domestic Airlines To Operate At 70% Pre-COVID Capacity

The Ministry of Civil Aviation on Wednesday, November 11 announced allowing domestic carriers to increase their operations from the existing 60 percent to 70 percent of the pre-COVID approved capacity. A total of 2.06 lakh passengers have used the domestic air services since flight operations resumed post-COVID-19 lockdown, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri informed.

Earlier, the ministry had said that the Indian airlines can operate a maximum of 60 percent of their pre-COVID domestic passenger flights till February 24 next year due to the prevailing coronavirus situation.

The Union Civil Aviation Minister further added that the Vande Bharat Mission has so far facilitated international travel of more than 2.9 million stranded and distressed people, out of which more than one million have been facilitated by Air India and Air India Express alone. Now in the Phase-7, Vande Bharat Mission continues to reach out to citizens across the world, Puri wrote in another tweet.

Last month, the union minister asserted that the upper and lower limits on domestic airfares will remain in place for another three months post-November 24. In May, the ministry had placed these limits through seven bands, classified on the basis of flight duration, till August 24. Later, it was extended till November 24. Puri said if the scheduled domestic flights reach pre-COVID levels by the end of the year, he will have no hesitation in removing the fare limits at that time.

Domestic passenger services resumed on May 25 after nearly two months of lockdown. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had on May 21 announced seven bands of ticket pricing with lower and upper fare limits based on flight duration. The first such band consists of flights that are of less than 40 minutes duration.

12/11/20 Brigitte Fernandes/Republic World

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