Civil aviation ministry raises domestic flight operations to 60%
The civil aviation ministry on Wednesday announced increasing the limited domestic flight operations from 45% to 60%.
“After the review of the current status of scheduled domestic operations viz-a-viz passenger demands for air travel in terms of purpose specified in the initial order (01/2020) dated 21.05.2020, condition laid down....is modified as under: 45% capacity may be read as 60% capacity. This order shall take effect from the date of issue of this order. The other terms and conditions shall remain the same,” the ministry said in an order.
Jitender Bhargava, former executive director of Air India said the decision was in line with a growth in the number of passengers.
“It is a good move considering that there is steady growth in the average number of passengers lying on domestic sectors. Hence, to ensure that the growing demand of the passengers is met this increase appears to be a part of well thought of strategy,” he said.
Civil aviation minister Hardeeo Singh Puri highlighted the rising number of domestic flights over the past few months.
“Touching new heights! 1121 domestic flights carried 1,20,725 passengers in a single day on 1st September 2020, Day 101 of recommencement of domestic operations. It began with 30,550 passengers on 418 flights on 25 May 2020,” he tweeted.
The government had resumed domestic flight operations on May 25, two months after the national lockdown was announced to stop the spread of Covid-19. The operations were announced to begin in calibrated manner with a 30% capacity to ensure social distancing was followed.
While this step enabled stranded people to return home, the number of passengers opting for air travel remained low till mid July. The government had, however, increased the limited flights to 45% by June end.