The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Govt of India on Saturday allowed domestic airlines to increase the passenger capacity following a dip in COVID-19 cases in the country.
The aviation ministry has increased the passenger capacity from 72.5 percent to 85 percent in a breather to the airlines as the Covid-19 situation in the country is improving.
At the same time, the ministry has tweaked the fare band rule by making it applicable for only 15 days in a month which, in effect, may increase the price of flight tickets.
Domestic Flight Capacity Increased
As per the fresh order issued by the aviation ministry, domestic airlines can now operate a maximum of 85 percent of their pre-Covid domestic flights instead of the 72.5 percent allowed till date.
Domestic carriers in India have been operating 72.5 percent of their pre-Covid domestic flights since August 12, according to the ministry’s order. Between July 5 and August 12, the cap stood at 65 percent. Between June 1 and July 5, the cap was at 50 percent.
The ministry issued a fresh order on Saturday, in which it modified the August 12 order stating that “72.5 percent capacity may be read as 85 percent capacity”. Saturday’s order also noted that the 72.5 percent cap will remain in place “until further order”.
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 percent of their pre-Covid domestic services. The cap was gradually increased to 80 percent by December, which remained in place till June 1.
Fare Band For 15 Days A Month
The govt has changed the domestic flight fare ban rule, making it applicable for 15 days a month only instead of 30 days. This means domestic airlines will be able to charge without any lower/upper limit from the 16th day onward.
It must be noted that the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA)had imposed a lower and upper limit on airfares based on flight duration in May 2020, when domestic flight service resumed after a gap of 2 months due to nation-wide lockdown.