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File photo of Mumbai airport
File photo of Mumbai airport

Domestic flights running smoothly: Hardeep Singh Puri

  • Domestic passenger services resumed on May 25 after nearly two months of suspension due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown
  • About 75,000 people have flown in the last 68 days

NEW DELHI : Two months after domestic flight operations were resumed in India post-COVID-19 lockdown, things are operating smoothly, Union Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri said.

"Domestic operations continue smoothly. 30 July 2020 till 2359 hrs was day 68. Departures were 840. 74,451 passengers handled. Arrivals were 837. 72,043 passengers were handled. Total movements were 1,677. Footfalls at airports were 1,46,494. The total number of flyers was 74,451," Puri said on Twitter.

Domestic passenger services resumed on May 25 after nearly two months of suspension due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown, while the ban on scheduled international flights remains in place since March 22.

At the time of resumption of services on the local air routes, the government had allowed airlines to operate not more than 33 per cent of their pre-COVID-19 domestic flights, which was later increased to 45 per cent on June 26. The civil aviation ministry also restricted the airlines on their ticket pricing also by making them range-bound seven fare bands, classified on the basis of flight duration, till August 24.

Both capacity restriction and fare caps have now been extended till November 24.

Aviation consultancy CAPA on Monday called for a "clear strategy" to deal with the turbulence that the domestic airline industry has been navigating in due to the coronavirus pandemic in the wake of demand slump and travel restrictions coupled with "regulatory challenges".

The aviation consultancy and advisory services provider has warned that one or two domestic carriers could go bust for want of cash.

The International Air Transport Association has said that global air travel is recovering more slowly than expected and will take until until 2024 to return to pre-pandemic levels.

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