The cap on the number of domestic flights that Indian airlines are permitted to operate was increased from 70 per cent to 80 per cent of their pre-COVID levels on Thursday, said Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. The minister had said on November 11 that the Indian airlines can operate up to 70 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic passenger flights due to the prevailing demand amid the coronavirus situation. Puri tweeted on Thursday, "Domestic operations recommenced with 30K passengers on 25 May & have now touched a high of 2.52 lakhs on 30 Nov 2020." "Ministry of Civil Aviation is now allowing domestic carriers to increase their operations from existing 70% to 80% of pre-COVID approved capacity," he stated. The ministry had resumed scheduled domestic passenger services from May 25, after a gap of two months due to the coronavirus lockdown. However, the airlines were allowed to operate not more than 33 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic flights. On June 26, this was increased to 45 per cent and on September 2, it was further increased to 60 per cent. On November 11, it was increased to 70 per cent.
Meanwhile, the DGCA recently extended the suspension of scheduled international commercial passenger flights to December 31. The restrictions, however, will not apply on international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), an official circular said.
"In partial modification of circular dated 26.6.2020, the competent authority has further extended the validity of circular issued on the subject cited above regarding scheduled international commercial passenger services to/from India till 2359 hours (IST) of December 31, 2020," the DGCA said in the circular.