As per sources, Indian Air Force has released 10 percent of military airspace to passenger commercial flights, resulting in reduction of flight time as well as overall operational cost of a flight including savings in fuel. It is being revealed by sources that more than one dozen domestic routes including Lucknow-Jaipur and Mumbai Srinagar will initially benefit from better airspace utilization and air carriers will save as much as Rs 40,000 per flight.
Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister of India earlier informed that government is working to efficiently utilize airspace over India to reduce flying time of passenger aircrafts, which will benefit both the air carriers and environment.
Currently only 60 percent of the Indian airspace is freely available for passenger aircrafts and rest is controlled by military. Utilizing the other airspace will reduce flying cost upto Rs 1000 crore by saving fuel and time. While the benefits will soak in losses incurred by airlines due to Coronavirus, it will eventually be passed to flyers, reducing ticket prices.
Earlier, PM Narendra Modi held a meeting between officials from Indian aviation industry, the Home Minister, the Finance Minister, and other senior officials of the Government of India for a comprehensive review of the strategies that could help in making India’s Civil Aviation sector more efficient.
It was decided in the meeting that the Indian Air Space should be effectively used in such a manner that the flying time is reduced benefiting the travelers and also helping the airlines to save costs in close co-operation with the Department of Military Affairs.
This essentially means that passenger aircrafts in India can now fly over prohibited zones designated by military due to their sensitive nature to cut short the journey from one city to another. This will save both fuel and time for the flights, making them more cost effective.
This move comes after the Indian aviation industry is struggling from impact of coronavirus. The move to shorten flying time can save considerable amount of money in fuel savings and turnaround time.
For reference, Delhi-Mumbai average flying time is 2 hr. If a more direct route is taken, the flight time can be reduced by at least 15-30 minutes, bringing the flight time to less than 2 hrs. This essentially means a saving of at least 1000 litre of fuel, which is a huge amount for the air carriers. Also the turnaround time is improved, which means more flights in a day, increasing the operational profits for air carriers.