New Delhi: Owing to the dip in the Covid cases, the Modi government on Tuesday permitted to restore the scheduled domestic air operations from 18th October, without any capacity restriction. The government, however, said that the airlines and the airport operators must ensure that guidelines to contain the spread of COVID-19 are strictly followed and Covid-appropriate behaviour is strictly enforced during travel.Also Read - International Flights: Air India Announces Fresh Flight Schedule Between India and Thailand | Here’s How to Book Tickets
“After review of the current status of Scheduled Domestic Operations viz-a-viz passenger demand for air travel”, the ministry has been decided to “restore the scheduled domestic all operations with effect from 18-10-2021 without any capacity restriction,” the order stated. Also Read - Air India-Tata vs IndiGo: Who Will Become King of Indian Skies
According to the Aviation Ministry, the decision to ease the norms on flight capacity was taken after reviewing the current air travel. To recall, the Modi govt had imposed the first restriction in May 2020, following the outbreak of COVID-19. The government’s capacity caps on the airline sector have been in place for nearly 17 months now. Also Read - Breaking News Highlights: PM Modi An Incarnation of Almighty, Says UP Minister Upendra Tiwari
Currently, the government permitted domestic carriers to operate at 85 percent of their pre-pandemic capacities.
Here are some of the important details:
- The flight capacity, which was completely curtailed following the onset of coronavirus pandemic, was increased to 80 percent in December last year.
- The capacity was reduced again, and brought down to 50 percent on June 1, due to the second wave of COVID-19.
- On July 5, the capacity was increased to 65 percent, and was further raised to 72.5 percent on August 12.
- The last upward revision was made on September 18, when the capacity was increased to 85 percent.
- According to the reports, Airlines witnessed around 61,100 departures in September as compared to 39,628 departures in the same month of 2020.
- The number of departures in the month gone by higher by around 6 per cent, as Covid-19 infections demonstrated a downward trajectory.