In a big relief to the aviation industry, the civil aviation ministry has permitted domestic airlines to operate at 65 per cent of pre-Covid capacity.
The decision has been taken to cater to the increase in domestic air travel as states relax the Covid-induced curbs. "Attention Travellers! Considering the increasing passengers' demand for domestic air travel, the capacity of domestic civil aviation operations will be increased to 65% from 50% from the date of issue of this order and up to 31.07.2021 or until further orders," the ministry order said.
Considering the increasing passengers' demand for domestic air travel, the capacity of domestic civil aviation operations will be increased to 65% from 50% from the date of issue of this order & up to 31.07.2021 or until further orders.
- MoCA_GoI (@MoCA_GoI)
The ministry on June 1 had capped the seating capacity for domestic airlines to prop up smaller carriers amid low demand for air travel due to the second Covid-1 wave.
The capacity utilisation was reduced from 80 per cent to 50 per cent from June 1 after the air travel demand hit rock-bottom in May. Initially, the Centre had allowed the carriers to operate not more than 33 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic services when the Centre restarted scheduled domestic flights in the country on May 25 last year following a two-month hiatus.
The cap was gradually increased to up to 80 per cent by December last year. Meanwhile, the ministry has raised the lower limit on fares by 13 to 16 per cent, and the increase in airfares came into effect from June 1.
The upper limits on fares remain unchanged. The move was aimed at helping the airlines amid a devastating second wave of COVID-19 which reduced air travel significantly.