Domestic flight operations rise, highest since May 25 last year: Aviation minister Puri
The trajectory of domestic flight operations in India is on the path to reach pre-Covid levels. The government of India on Monday said that the total number of domestic passengers that travelled on February 28, rose to over 3.13 lakh with a total of 2,353 flights in the air. As per the Union minister for civil aviation Hardeep Singh Puri, the statistics are the highest since the resumption of domestic flight services on May 25 last year.
"Number of domestic passengers on 28th February 2021 rose to 3,13,668 on 2,353 flights," Puri said, adding, "This is the highest since resumption of domestic flights on 25th May 2020."
As per the data provided by the government, total flight movements on Sunday were 4,699 with a total footfall on airports reporting to be more than 6.17 lakh.
The domestic flight operations in the country were stopped from midnight March 24, 2020 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The flight operations resumed after two months on May 25.
As the rage of the deadly virus started declining, the flight operations too witnessed a rise in the passengers and airport footfall.
Domestic flight operations of Go Air, Air Asia, Star Air and Trujet have announced that will also shift back to the Terminal 1 of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) in Mumbai this month. After the resumption of domestic flight services in May last year, all the flight operations at the Mumbai Airport were consolidated to Terminal 2 to ensure virus safety precautions.
However, from March 10 domestic flights of Go Air, Air Asia, Star Air and Trujet including select flight of Indigo will resume its operations from T1 of the CSMIA. Lounges and F&B outlets at the airport will also resume for the passengers.
The recovery in the domestic flight operations of the country comes at the time when International Air Transport Association (IATA) data for December 2020 reported that the industry wide revenue passenger-kilometers (RPK) had dropped by 69.7 per cent in comparison to 2019. The resurgence of coronavirus variants inducing shut downs in various countries can further impact the aviation industry.