Home / News / India /  Domestic air passenger traffic to surpass pre-Covid levels in next two months: Scindia

The domestic air passenger traffic will cross pre-Covid levels in the next two months, said Jyotiraditya Scindia, the civil aviation minister, on Monday. 

"In November, December, we started hitting numbers of 3.8 to 3.9 lakh passengers per day. We were almost back to pre-Covid levels... with Omicron, number of travellers tanked... we fell to 1.6 lakh per day. So we had a contraction of about 65-70%," the minister said at an event organised by the All India Management Association (AIMA).

“All things remaining equal, in the next 2 months or so, you should see us crossing pre-Covid levels in terms of daily passengers... that will herald new demand, new capacity coming in, both at airports and airlines," added Scindia. 

Further, Scindia also urged states to reduce the Value Added Tax (VAT) levied on Air Turbine Fuel (ATF), which accounts for about 40 per cent of an airline's operational costs.

"In the last 5 months, 12 states and Union Territories have reduced VAT from 25-30 per cent down to 1-4 per cent, including Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka...," he said, adding that now 24 states and Union Territories have cut the VAT on jet fuel.

Impact of Covid

The country's civil aviation sector was significantly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and its loss was around 19,000 crore in the last fiscal ended March 2021.

In the wake of the pandemic, domestic commercial flights were suspended for two months starting from 25 March 2020 while commercial international flights remain suspended since 23 March 2020. Currently, overseas flights are being operated under bilateral air bubble arrangements.

Airlines were allowed to operate at full capacity from 18 October 2021.

Domestic airlines used to carry around 4 lakh passengers per day before the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in the country. Last Sunday, the air traffic was at 3.5 lakh.

Last month, domestic airlines carried 64.08 lakh passengers, a decline of 17.14% compared to the year-ago period. In January last year, the traffic stood at 77.34 lakh passengers, according to data from aviation watchdog DGCA.

With inputs from agencies. 


Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less

Recommended For You

Trending Stocks

Get alerts on WhatsApp
Set Preferences My ReadsWatchlistFeedbackRedeem a Gift CardLogout