Domestic air traffic very close to pre-Covid-19 days: Hardeep Singh Puri

With domestic air traffic expected to increase further in the summer, the government may remove fare bands

Domestic air traffic very close to pre-Covid-19 days: Hardeep Singh Puri
Aircraft at Delhi airport. Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons/Subhashish Panigrahi

In what could bring a sigh of relief for the aviation industry in India, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has informed that domestic air traffic has been getting closer to pre-Covid levels.
 
Puri pointed out that 3,10,844 passengers travelled on 2,347 flights on Saturday (February 20, 2021).

“Indians are flying with confidence. More than 4.2 crore passengers from the time domestic aviation operations resumed on 25 May. 3,10,844 passengers on 2,347 flights on 20 Feb 2021. Figures are now within touching distance of Pre-COVID numbers,” the minister tweeted.

According to reports citing a meeting of the ministry's consultative committee on Thursday (February 18), Puri said domestic air traffic is increasing day-by-day and has now reached about 3,00,000 passengers daily.

Also read -- Indian govt hikes airfare caps: Here's how passengers will be affected

The civil aviation minister added that with domestic air traffic expected to increase further in the summer, the government may remove the fare bands besides lifting other restrictions. In a measure that provided relief to the Covid-hit sector, the ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) on February 11 increased the lower and upper limit on air tickets by 10-30%. 

On May 21, 2020, the ministry, while announcing the resumption of scheduled domestic flights, had placed limits on airfares through seven bands classified on the basis of flight duration.

Also read: Covid-hit Indian aviation still some distance away from full recovery

As a result of the Covid-induced lockdown last year, aviation was one of the badly affected sectors. Domestic passenger traffic in India slipped to a seven-year low in 2020 due to a complete pandemic-induced two-month halt in air travel last summer.

(Cover image courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Subhashish Panigrahi)