Govt allows airlines to raise flight operations capacity to 70%

As Covid-19 cases have started to decline across the country, the civil aviation ministry on Wednesday allowed airlines to extend their operation to 70% of their capacity. Earlier, the airlines were running at 60% capacity.

“Domestic operations recommenced with 30K passengers on 25 May and have reached 2.06 lakhs on 8 Nov. Ministry of Civil Aviation is now allowing domestic carriers to increase their operations from existing 60% to 70% of the pre-Covid approved capacity,“ said aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Twitter.

After being grounded for two months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Indian airlines resumed domestic operations on May 25.

At the time, airlines were allowed to operate only up to a third of their total capacity, with the cap later being increased to 45% and then to 60%. Since May, air traffic has picked up, however due to the still prevailing fear of contracting Covid-19, the bookings are still low.

This comes as the number of daily Covid-19 cases began to decline in the country. As of Wednesday morning, the country’s Covid-19 caseload was above 8.6 million. While the death toll stood at 1,27,571.

Meanwhile, the number of active cases dropped below the five lakh-mark for the first time after 106 days, the health ministry said. The active cases in the country are 4,94,657.

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