The cap on the number of domestic flights that Indian airlines are permitted to operate was increased from 60 per cent to 70 per cent of their pre-COVID levels on Wednesday, said Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. The Civil Aviation Ministry had said on September 2 that the Indian airlines can operate a maximum 60 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic passenger flights due to the prevailing coronavirus situation.
It had clarified on October 29 that the 60 per cent cap would be in place till "February 24, 2021 or until further orders". Puri tweeted on Wednesday, "Domestic operations recommenced with 30K passengers on 25 May and have reached2.06 lakhs on 8 Nov 2020."
"The Civil Aviation Ministry is now allowing domestic carriers to increase their operations from existing 60 per cent to 70 per cent of the 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-triggered 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.
ndia's domestic passenger traffic has reached more than half of pre-coronavirus pandemic level operations with the number of daily air travellers crossing over two lakh in November, a top official of the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA) said on Saturday. MOCA Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola said when flights resumed after a hiatus of two months due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there were only 30,000 air passengers on the first day but the number reached over two lakh on November 2.