Government allows domestic airlines to operate with 60% capacity

The government on Wednesday permitted Indian airlines to increase the number of domestic passenger flights to 60 per cent of their pre-COVID services, according to an official order. On June 26, the Ministry of Civil Aviation had allowed the airlines to operate a maximum of 45 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic flights.

Modifying its June 26 order, the ministry issued an order Wednesday stating that, “45 per cent capacity may be read as 60 per cent capacity.”

Air traffic has picked up since May, but bookings are not strong enough for most carriers to utilize up to 60% of their capacity, said a senior official at a budget airline.

“We are hope bookings will pick up during the upcoming festive season,” said the official on the condition of anonymity.

The number of passengers travelling daily on domestic flights has increased from about 40,000 in May to about 100,000 a day at present.

SOPs for air travel

On August 28, the DGCA updated its SOPs announced during the resumption of flights on May 25. The DGCA allowed airlines to serve pre-packed snacks, meals and beverages on domestic flights depending on the travel time, and hot meals on international flights.

Besides food, the DGCA also allowed the usage of in-flight entertainment system on international as well as domestic flights, wherever available.

The DGCA directed passengers who refuse to wear a face mask in a flight to be put on the no-fly list. The airline and its cabin crew are sufficiently empowered under the existing DGCA rules to take action in this regard.

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