Around 800 fliers have tested positive for COVID-19 since domestic flights resumed on May 25, a senior government bureaucrat has said.
Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary at Ministry of Civil Aviation while Speaking at an aviation webinar said “A total of 2.7 million passengers have taken to the skies since flights restarted. The infection rate, of 0.03 percent, is thus very low.”
She acknowledged that every one efforts were taken to trace all passengers who would have faced a risk.
The government had reopened the skies for domestic flights, which were suspended just before the national lockdown in March. Later in May, the airlines were allowed to restart service, but only one-third of the traditional summer schedule.
This limit was later raised to 45 percent.
While the daily number of travelers catching a flight has continued to extend – from the initial volume of about 20,000 a day to 60,000 now – these are still faraway from pre-COVID-19 levels. In 2019, he pointed out, the Indian aviation industry flew an average of 3.5 lakh passengers each day .
Consequently, airlines are operating at about 30 percent of their capacity, and passenger loads remain below the halfway mark.
This is what Vistara’s Vinod Kannan, its Chief Commercial Officer had recently said about capacity utilization.
Apart from the fear of getting infected, Industry executives have acknowledged that customers are hesitant to travel due to varied quarantine regulations at states.
Total confirmed cases in India have risen to 7.67 lakh, with a recovery rate of 62.1 percent.
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