The aviation ministry, in a big move that will bring normalcy in flight operations, today lifted all restrictions on the number of flights airlines can operate.
“After review of the current status of scheduled domestic operations vis-a-vis passenger demand for air travel in terms of purpose specified in the initial order no… It has been decided to restore the scheduled domestic air operations with effect from 18.10.2021 without any capacity restrictions,” the government said in an order today.
The government has decided to lift any capacity restriction, which was put in May 2020, after a surge in demand for travel, as people started to travel during the festive months.
The aviation ministry, under the new minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, removed the restrictions within three month of his tenure. The restrictions were at 65% of pre-Covid flights, when Scindia took over and that was increased to 72.5% then to 85% and now at 100%.
ET had reported in August that Scindia is open to lifting all restrictions on flight ban.
Fare restrictions were also reduced from one month till the day of the flight to 15 days of the flight. “We are monitoring on a daily basis and s decision on it may come,” said a senior government official.
As the festive season in India begins with Durga Puja this month, domestic air passengers hit over 300,000 more than once in the past week. On Monday, airlines carried about 266,000 passengers on 2307 flights across the country.
At its peak, airlines carried 420,000 passengers a day on about 3,000 domestic flights across the country.
As demand for flying increases, domestic ticket prices remain high despite the government deciding to limit fare regulations to last-minute flight bookings.
The government has been fixing upper and lower limits on the basis of distance since airline operations resumed in May last year after a two-month stoppage as part of the nationwide Covid lockdown.