Government increases domestic flight capacity to 65% from 50%

Domestic flight capacity has been boosted by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) to 65 percent, up from 50 percent on Monday. “After reviewing the current situation of scheduled domestic operations in relation to passenger demand for air travel in terms of the purpose specified in prior order 01/2020 dated 25.05.2020.  50 percent capacity may be construed as 65 percent capacity,” according to the July 5 order. From July 5, the MoCA doubled the passenger capacity, which will be in effect until July 31 or until future orders, whichever comes first.

All COVID Protocols are in place for domestic aircraft 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, 2021Total flight movements: 2,938,” Civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri 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 gasoline prices, the government also increased the upper limit on airfare by roughly 14%.

“In light of a sudden shift in the number of Covid-19 cases, as well as a fall in the number of passengers and lower occupancy, the existing capacity cap of 80 percent is reduced to 50 percent,” according to a previous order from the ministry.

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 percent of pre-covid levels, which was then boosted to 45 percent 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%.

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