Business Economy : Airlines allowed to operate 72.5pc of pre-Covid capacity, minimum airfare caps also hiked by 12pc

Insight Online News

New Delhi, Aug 13 : With the Covid situation improving in the country, the government has allowed domestic airlines to operate up to 72.5per cent of their pre-pandemic capacity.

The earlier government order had allowed airlines to operate 65 per cent of their capacity on domestic routes as part of a calibrated opening of the aviation sector.

“The order shall take effect from the date of the issue (August 12, 2021) of this order and will remain in place until further order,” a late-night order from the Ministry of Civil Aviation said.

The move is set to help air-travellers in getting more flight options and fly on enhanced network.

Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had held a meeting with top airline bosses on August 6 to consider airlines’ demand to review the prevailing cap on capacity and airfares in view of improving the Covid situation.

In a July 7, 2021 order, the Civil Aviation Ministry had increased the 50 per cent cap on airline capacity to 65 per cent due to a rise in demand for air travel.

In view of the ongoing pandemic, the domestic sector has been opened in a calibrated manner along with fare caps which are subject to Covid-19 situation and passenger demand for air travel.

In a separate order, the Aviation Ministry has also increased the lower and upper airfare bands thus raising prices airlines charge from the passengers. Both the ceilings have been raised by a minimum of about 12 per cent making ticket prices costlier.

The lower and upper ceiling of airfares for various routes have been fixed on the basis of flight duration. The government continues to decide fare bands even as airlines want the cap to go and it should be left on market dynamics.

The minimum and maximum fare chargeable shall continue to be rolled over for a 30 days cycle, said the government order.


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