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