SpiceJet to run only 70% of pre-Covid flights in winter; Vistara to add 300

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 28, 2021

Air India, IndiGo, Go Air too cut number of flights


SpiceJet and IndiGo along with Air India will fly less number of flights during winter schedule starting October 31 as compared to pre-Covid level. However, Vistara will have higher number of flights.

According, to an order by Civil Aviation Ministry, 11 scheduled domestic airlines will fly 22,287 flights a week during the period starting October 31 and ending March 26 next year, which is technically known as ‘Winter Schedule 21’. Approved number of flights is nearly 4 per cent lower than Winter Schedule 19 (October 31, 2019 – March 25, 2020). This winter, flights will be operated from 108 airports, including two new ones, Sindhudurg and Kushinagar.

Though numbers of Winter Schedule 21 is higher than over 18,000 flights approved for Summer Schedule 21 (March 27-September 30), this cannot be comparable because there were restrictions on the capacity during the said period.

“Winter Schedule 2021 has been approved without capacity restrictions as submitted by the scheduled domestic airlines,” Civil Aviation Ministry said. Earlier this month, the Ministry allowed airlines to operate with full capacity. Last year in May, when government permitted airlines to restart operation after nationwide lockdown, capacity was capped at 33 per cent.

The cap was gradually increased to up to 80 per cent by December last year. However, it was reduced to 50 per cent from June 1 this year after second wave. While the cap was at 50 per cent between June 1 and July 5, it stood at 65 per cent between July 5 and August 12. It was then increased to 72.5 per cent before being further raised to the 85 per cent and finally to 100 per cent.

New schedule

The new schedule has been announced when air traffic is on rise. According to DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) data, over 5.31 crore people travelled on domestic airlines in first nine months of calendar 2021, this is over 20 per cent higher than number of air travellers during corresponding period of last fiscal.

For September alone, the number was 70.66 lakh which is nearly 79 per cent higher than last September and over 5 per more than this August. While IndiGo carried 39.69 lakh passengers in September with a 56.2 per cent share of the domestic market, SpiceJet flew 6.02 lakh passengers, accounting for an 8.5 per cent share of the market, according to DGCA data.



Published on October 28, 2021

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