In the coming future, domestic airlines will be allowed to increase their capacity to 75 percent. Currently, they are operating at 65 percent capacity.
With respect to increasing the capacity of domestic airlines, Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Civil Aviation Minister, said, “There is no deadline. But this can happen soon as the domestic numbers are going up. Before this I said that the pre-COVID domestic numbers will be achieved between Diwali and New Year. Now I am confident that by the first quarter next year, we will be able to surpass the pre-COVID numbers.”
The future of international flights could depend on the launch of a successful vaccine
The Minister answered questions that were raised about the travel bubble arrangements continuing till March-April. He said, “It is difficult to say as there is no country which has completely opened its borders for all. It depends on the availability of a vaccine as countries will feel more confident once a vaccine is there.”
Till October 31, regular international passenger flight services have been suspended. This suspension could be in place till March-April.
Puri added, “There are three issues to consider before resuming regular international flights. One, resuming domestic connectivity connecting bigger cities to smaller towns, which we have already done. Second, the nature of the virus on which I can’t comment and the third is international restrictions. Every country wants its people to return, but for others there are plenty of restrictions.”
Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary, Civil Aviation, said, “This marks the beginning of the second phase of domestic travel as we are now gearing up to face the challenge of welcoming more people in the airports as the festive season is almost upon us. We had a meeting with the airlines recently in this regard.”
Also Read: Tata Sons In Talks To Buy Out AirAsia India