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NEW DELHI : Wadia Group-owned GoAir will operate over 600 weekly flights as it aims to reach 60% of pre-covid-19 capacity by the upcoming festive season, the airline said in a statement on Friday.

The airline, which currently operates about 500 weekly flights, expects to bounce back and reach 45% of pre-covid level by 21 September and 60% by 15 October, it added.

The announcement from the no-frill carrier comes days after the Union government announced that airlines could sell seats up to 60% of an aircraft’s capacity on domestic flights, up from 45%, further easing curbs on the aviation sector clobbered by the covid outbreak.

The Mumbai-based airline will also add new flights and connections on domestic routes in the coming days. These include new connections to and from Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune, Lucknow, Nagpur, Varanasi, Jaipur, Patna, Ranchi, Guwahati, Chandigarh, Srinagar, Leh and Jammu.

"The Indian domestic sector is witnessing a gradual growth in demand owing to increased traffic. As the various states start withdrawing travel restrictions, demand will continue to grow," the airline's chief executive Kaushik Khona said in the statement.

"These new flights will further strengthen our domestic network," he added.

Indian airlines resumed domestic operations on 25 May, after being grounded for two months due to the nationwide lockdown to contain the pandemic.

Air traffic has picked up since May, but bookings are not strong enough for most carriers to utilize up to 60% of their pre-covid capacity.

As things stand, most airlines are banking on the upcoming festive season for the revival of passenger demand.

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