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Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Sunday said that India's domestic air traffic was gradually moving towards pre Covid-level. "Touching a new high one after another, we are gradually moving towards pre Covid-level air traffic. Onwards & upwards here on," he said on Twitter. 

The Aviation Ministry shared the number of passengers flew on Saturday. In a tweet, it said: “338,438 passengers on 2,542 flights. Total flight movements: 5,079. Total passengers: 674,440."

In a separate development, the union minister said the expansion of air services on domestic routes was bringing down fares. "Airfares are tumbling (on domestic routes). Airfare between some cities is cheaper than second-class air-conditioned train tickets. Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants people wearing slippers to fly. That is why the government is working to set up airports in small cities as well," Scindia said while speaking online at a function to mark the start of six new IndiGo flights connecting Indore to Surat in Gujarat, Jodhpur in Rajasthan and Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh.

"Airfares are tumbling (on domestic routes). Airfare between some cities is cheaper than second-class air-conditioned train tickets. Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants people wearing slippers to fly. That is why the government is working to set up airports in small cities as well," Scindia said.

With the expansion of flight services from small cities in Bihar, Jharkhand and Assam as well as other states, the number of people flying from these places has risen by two lakh per month, he said.

Scindia also spoke on the expansion of air services in his home state Madhya Pradesh in the last four months. Before becoming civil aviation minister in July, he said, the state saw 554 aircraft movements weekly, which has now soared to 833, registering an increase of 50%. "Before I became minister, MP was connected to 27 cities by air, whereas the figure is 49 cities now, including Dubai," he added.

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