Explained: Why airlines are flying fewer flights despite govt allowing more capacity

By Indian Express

Despite the government allowing 80% of scheduled flight capacity to be operated on domestic flights, Indian airlines are running their operations at a significantly lower capacity.

In the latest update on domestic aviation, Civil Aviation Minister had said Friday that 2.29 lakh passengers flew on 2,156 flights on that day with total flight movements being at 4,308 and total footfalls at airports being recorded at 4.59 lakh for that day.

Why has the government restricted flight capacity?
When the Centre announced reopening of domestic flights May 25 onwards, after a two-month lockdown, it wanted to gradually increase the capacity that airlines can deploy to ensure that air travel does not suddenly begin contributing to the Covid-19 spread. Along with this, to ensure the well being of passengers as well as the airlines, the government had imposed a ceiling and a floor on the air fares, according to various sectors.

Do those restrictions still hold?

Initially, the government had allowed airlines to operate only 33% of the flights that they used to prior to the Covid-19 lockdown. This meant if an airline operated 100 flights, it could only operate a maximum of 33 flights upon the resumption of domestic operations.

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