Govt allows domestic airlines to operate up to 60 per cent capacity

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on September 03, 2020

Domestic airlines can now operate up to 60 per cent of their capacity, up from the current 45 per cent.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation, on Wednesday, said the capacity has been increased “after review of the current status of scheduled domestic operations vis-à-vis passenger demand for air travel.” The order comes into effect immediately.

The Ministry has requested the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation “to effect the schedule of airlines in accordance with the latest government order.”


The move comes 100 days after domestic flying resumed on May 25 after a complete lockdown that began on March 25. Domestic operations started with airlines being allowed to operate 33 per cent of their pre-Covid flights which was subsequently increased to 45 per cent.

State govts reluctant

What impact the latest government order will have on increase in domestic flights remains to be seen as many State governments are not keen to allow too many flights to come in. When domestic flying started, Mumbai airport, which is one of the busiest in the country, first did not agree to accept any flights but later relented and allowed 25 arrivals and 25 departures when the government had allowed domestic airlines to operate up to 33 per cent of their pre-Covid levels. This was much below the over 100 flights a day that Mumbai airport should have permitted and which had been sanctioned by the authorities.

This time around also, the Centre has allowed domestic airlines to operate up to 60 per cent of their pre-Covid capacity while from September 1, Mumbai is allowing 100 arrivals and 100 departures a day, up from 50 arrivals and departures allowed earlier. This is well below the daily flights that the airport handled before the pandemic broke out.

Mumbai airport is important as it acts as a gateway to both north and south India. Many airlines, apart from flying directly to cities in north and south India, also stop in Mumbai and pick up passenger traffic.

Published on September 02, 2020

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