Airline Can Now Operate Domestic Flights To 72.5% of Pre-Covid Capacity

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The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) on Thursday announced that Indian airlines can now operate a maximum of 72.5% of their pre-Covid domestic flights instead of the 65% with immediate effect.

As of now, all domestic airlines has been operating at 65% of their pre-Covid domestic flights since 5 July

It must be noted that in July 2020, the ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) hiked the capacity of domestic flights to 65% from the earlier 50%.

“After review of the current status of Scheduled Domestic Operations viz-a-viz passenger demand for air travel in terms of the purpose specified in the initial order… is further modified as under 65% capacity may be read as 72.5% capacity. This shall take effect from the date of issue of this order and will remain in place until further orders,” said MoCA in a statement.

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Thursday’s order also noted that the 72.5% cap will “remain in place until further order”.

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It may be noted that the Aviation Ministry had halted the operations of domestic flights in India in March last year to stop the spread of Covid-19 in the country and in May last year decided to resume the flight services after a two-month break, initially, only 33% of pre-Covid domestic services were allowed to operate.

When the government had resumed the scheduled domestic flights on May 25 last year after a two-month break, the ministry had allowed the carriers to operate not more than 33% of their pre-Covid domestic services.

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The cap was gradually increased to 80% by December. The 80% cap remained in place till June 1.

The May 28 decision to bring down the cap from 80 to 50 percent from June 1 onwards was taken “in view of the sudden surge in the number of active COVID-19 cases across the country, decrease in passenger traffic and the passenger load (occupancy rate) factor”, the ministry had said. 


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