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Published on Thursday, November 5, 2020

India's domestic flight capacity cap extended until February 2021






The India government has again extended the 60% cap on domestic air traffic due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.


India has the second highest number of Covid-19 cases at more than eight million.


The Civil Aviation Ministry had considered increasing the number of flights to 75% of normal levels but decided to leave it unchanged until 24 February 2021.


Since domestic flights resumed in May it has gradually upped the number of flights allowed in phases over several months.


It restarted domestic flights at 33% and then increased it to 45%.


According to aviation officials current load factors range from 57% at Air India to 73% for SpiceJet.


Full-service carrier Vistara says a survey it conducted points to more confidence in flying with fewer people concerned about possible exposure to the virus on planes.


Scheduled international services are still banned, except for repatriation flights and those agreed through air travel bubbles.


It has bilateral air bubble agreements with 18 countries, including the US, the UK, Germany and France.


India's Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the government is in talks with 13 other countries to open more travel bubbles.


 


Written by Ray Montgomery, Asia Editor

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