To fly or not: Sudden spike in Covid cases, mandatory Covid negative test dampens air travel sentiments

By: |
April 15, 2021 6:41 PM

The total number of domestic air travellers fell from the 2 lakh mark for the first time in the country in the last five months.

travelTourism Minister Dan Tehan described the current times as challenging for the tourism and aviation sector and said it's very hard to determine when the international borders would reopen.

A considerable dip in the number of domestic travellers has been reported in the country due to the mandatory requirement of producing Covid-19 test report at the time of travel. According to an Indian Express report the total number of domestic air travellers fell from the 2 lakh mark for the first time in the country in the last five months. According to aviation experts, the prime factor for the sudden dip in the number of travellers is the mandatory requirement of Covid-19 negative test in many states and random Covid-19 tests at the airports by many state governments. The number of domestic travellers that travelled in the domestic flights in the country on Tuesday was 1.83 lakh, the Indian Express quoted the data provided by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

Ameya Joshi who runs an aviation analysis portal NetworkThoughts’ told the Indian Express that the need for negative RT-PCR test, increase in Covid-19 cases and lockdown like conditions in many parts of the country is killing the passengers appetite. The states which have imposed the negative Covid-19 test report condition include Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, Odisha, Uttarakhand among others. The latest to bring Covid-19 negative test requirement was West Bengal which has imposed the condition on passengers travelling from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Telangana.

Another trend which has been noticed off late is that passengers are booking their flight tickets closer to their journey date in order to reduce uncertainty regarding their Covid-19 test. Since, Covid-19 negative test reports which are to be submitted must not be older than 72 hours before their journey date, most passengers are booking tickets closer to their journey date to reduce the certainty to some extent.

Sabina Chopra, co-founder and COO of told the Indian Express that customers want to book their tickets closer to their travel date. Ratings agency Icra has also predicted that more stringent measures taken at the hands of the state governments will further hit the air traffic in the coming weeks.

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