Indian Domestic Airlines to run flights at 100% capacity from Oct 18

Indian Domestic Airlines to run flights at 100% capacity from Oct 18

New Delhi: The Indian government on Tuesday (Oct. 12) issued an order allowing all scheduled domestic airlines to operate with full capacity.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) had capped domestic airline capacity since May 2020. Currently, the cap on the capacity for domestic flights was 85 per cent.

The latest move is expected to facilitate airlines to operate more flights, which will have an impact on fares, especially during the busy festive season.

“After a review of the current status of Scheduled Domestic Operations viz-a-viz passenger demand for air travel in terms of the purpose specified in the initial order dated May 21, 2020…it has been decided to restore the scheduled domestic air operations with effect from 18-10-2021 without any capacity restriction,” the MoCA said in its order.

“The airlines and the airport operators shall, however, ensure that the guidelines to contain the spread of Covid are strictly adhered to and Covid-appropriate behaviour is strictly enforced by them during the travel,” the ministry said.

Reacting to the development, former Air India executive director Jitendra Bhargava said, “Coming on the eve of the festival season, it will be good for both — the airlines and the air travellers.” On October 9, the Indian carriers operated 2,340 domestic flights, which is nearly 71 per cent of their total pre-Covid capacity.

Meanwhile, the ministry has also asked airlines and airports in the country to continue following the protocol that gives certain privileges to MPs during air travel. This direction has come after some issues of negligence regarding the protocol came to the notice of the ministry, it said.

The ministry said the instructions to follow protocol were being circulated again and all aviation stakeholders should comply with the same “in letter and spirit”.

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