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Aviation Ministry increases domestic Flight passenger Capacity From 50% To 65%

Indian carriers will be able to operate 15% more domestic flights, as the government upped the cap from 50% to 65% of pre-COVID levels from July 5.

Aviation Ministry

Picture Credit: @RyanMuddGolf/Twitter

Indian carriers are now allowed to operate 15% more domestic flights, as the government increased the cap from 50% to 65% of pre-COVID levels from Monday, July 5. The aviation government has been restricting both domestic fares and capacity during the pandemic. Both have been adjusted in accordance with the COVID situation.

Govt increases passenger capacity for domestic flights 

The government order read, "After the review of the current status of scheduled domestic operations viz-a-viz passenger demand for air travel in terms of the purpose specified in previous order 01/2020 dated 25.05.2020… 50% capacity may be read as 65% capacity."

From July 5, the MoCA doubled the passenger capacity, which will be in effect until July 31 or until future orders. All COVID Protocols are in place for domestic aviation operations. The number of domestic passengers is growing as flying becomes a more popular, safe, and time-saving means of transportation. 1,74,905 passengers on 1,467 flights on July 4, 2021. 

Aviation Ministry increases domestic flight occupancy capacity

"Domestic aviation operations continue with all Covid Protocols in place. The number of domestic passengers increases as flying emerges as a preferred, safe & time-saving mode of transport. On 4 July 2021, 1,74,905 passengers on 1,467 flights. Total flight movements: 2,938," Hardeep Singh Puri, the civil aviation minister, tweeted.

For the first time after May 2020, the government reduced domestic airline capacity from 80% (summer schedule 2020) to 50% starting June 1 (in an order dated May 28) to protect airlines' viability in the wake of a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases across the country, as well as a drop in passenger traffic and passenger load factor. Due to the increase in fuel prices, the government also increased the upper limit on airfare by roughly 14%. The civil aviation ministry allowed airlines to expand their flying capacity from 70% to 80% of pre-COVID levels on December 3 of last year.

Following a two-month suspension of all flying operations, the government began allowing domestic flights on May 25, 2020, with a capacity of 33% of pre-covid levels, which was then boosted to 45% in June and so on. However, beginning in March 2021, passenger traffic began to decline, prompting airlines to petition the government to reduce seating capacity from 80% to 60%.

Picture Credit: @RyanMuddGolf/Twitter

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