Govt allows airlines to operate 7.5% more domestic flightstext_fields
New Delhi: The Ministry of Civil Aviation on Thursday announced that airlines can now operate a maximum of 72.5 per cent of their pre-Covid domestic flights instead of the 65 per cent allowed to date.
According to the ministry's order, the carriers have been operating 65 per cent of their pre-Covid domestic flights since July 5. Between June 1 and July 5, the cap was at 50 per cent.
The ministry issued a fresh order on Thursday, wherein it modified the July 5 order stating that "65 per cent capacity may be read as 72.5 per cent capacity".
Thursday's order also noted that the 72.5 per cent cap will "remain in place until further order".
When the government had resumed the scheduled domestic flights on May 25 last year after a two-month break, the ministry had allowed the carriers to operate not more than 33 per cent of their pre-Covid domestic services.
The cap was gradually increased to 80 per cent by December which remained in place till June 1.
The May 28 decision to bring down the cap from 80 to 50 per cent from June 1 onwards was taken "in view of the sudden surge in the number of active COVID-19 cases across the country, decrease in passenger traffic and the passenger load (occupancy rate) factor", the ministry had said.
Meanwhile, flying within the country will cost more from Friday the 13th as the aviation ministry late on Thursday night increased both the minimum and maximum domestic airfare levels by 12.5%.
On June 1, 2021, the government hiked domestic airfares by 15% while slashing flights within the country from 80% of pre-Covid level to 50% at the height of the deadly second wave. During the pandemic, the aviation ministry has been regulating both domestic fares and capacity.