New Delhi: Domestic airlines will be permitted to operate at 100 percent of their pre-Covid capacity beginning on October 18, as the government announced on Tuesday.
Since May 2020, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has capped domestic airline capacity. Currently, the cap on domestic flight capacity is set at 85 percent.
The move by the government will allow airlines to operate more flights and increase passenger loads as the festive season begins across India.
Between August 12 and September 18, the capacity cap was 72.5 percent, 65 percent between July 5 and August 12, and 50 percent between June 1 and July 5.
On October 9, Indian airlines flew 2,340 domestic flights, accounting for 71.5 percent of their total pre-COVID capacity.
The ministry stated in its order that “it has been decided to restore the scheduled domestic air operation with effect from October 18, 2021, without any capacity restriction”.
The order noted that the decision was taken “after a review of the current status of scheduled domestic operations viz-a-viz passenger demand for air travel”.
When the government resumed scheduled domestic flights on May 25 last year after a two-month hiatus, the ministry permitted carriers to operate no more than 33% of their pre-Covid domestic services.
The cap was gradually increased to 80 percent by December 2020.