The government early last month had allowed airlines to operate up to 60% of their pre-COVID flight services within the country.
In a positive development for air carriers in India, the government may allow domestic airlines to operate with 75% of their pre-COVID scheduled domestic flights.
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri at a press conference on Thursday said if passenger numbers remain healthy in the next 7-10 days, airlines may be permitted to operate 75% of their pre-COVID scheduled domestic flights, as reported by PTI.
“Our internal thinking is that we will watch it (passenger number) for another week or 10 days,” Puri said, adding that “If the figures (of passengers travelling) continue to be healthy, we would open domestic civil aviation to 75 percent of the pre-COVID levels.”
According to a report by rating agency ICRA early this month, recovery in domestic air passenger traffic continued in September, with a sequential growth of 37-39 percent in passenger volume over August.
Early last month (September 2), the civil aviation ministry had allowed domestic air carriers to operate up to 60 percent of their pre-COVID services within the country.
The government had allowed airlines to restart domestic flights from May 25, after a gap of over two months in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the consequent nationwide lockdown to limit the spread of Coronavirus. The government, however, permitted airlines to operate with 33 percent of their pre-COVID domestic flights at that time.
Then on June 26, the Civil Aviation Ministry further allowed airlines to operate with 45 percent of their pre-COVID scheduled domestic flights.
So far India has not allowed scheduled international flights to restart operations. However, the government has permitted international flight operations under the Vande Bharat Mission and Air Transport Bubbles.