Airlines Can Only Fly 80% of Pre-Covid Flights Till March-End, Government Says
An aircraft operated by IndiGo is seen from a control tower as it takes off at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Airlines Can Only Fly 80% of Pre-Covid Flights Till March-End, Government Says

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The cap on the number of domestic flights that Indian airlines are permitted to operate will remain at 80% of their pre-Covid levels till March 31 or till the summer schedule begins, said the Civil Aviation Ministry on Thursday.

The ministry had set the 80% limit on Dec. 3, 2020, without specifying till what date it would remain in place.

The summer schedule begins at the end of March for all the airlines. Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation \approves both the schedules, summer and winter, of all the airlines.

Also read: Air Travel Set To Become More Expensive: Government Raises Limits On Domestic Airfares By 10-30%

“As per the prevailing situation of Covid-19, the central government...directs the order dated Dec. 3, 2020, shall remain in force till 2359 hrs on March 31, 2021 or till the date of commencement of summer schedule 2021, whichever isearlier or until further orders,” the ministry’s order said.

The ministry had resumed scheduled domestic passenger services from May 25, 2020, after a gap of two months due to the coronavirus lockdown. However, the airlines were allowed to operate not more than 33% of their pre-Covid domestic flights.

On June 26, this was increased to 45% and on Sept. 2, it was further increased to 60%. On Nov. 11, it was increased to 70%. In December, it was increased to 80%.

Scheduled international passenger traffic continues to remain suspended in India since March 23, 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, special international flights have been operating since July 2020 under air bubble arrangements formed with various countries.

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