Unlock 4: Domestic Airlines can now operate with 60 percent capacitySeptember 03, 2020 19:02
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Most of the airlines continue to operate with just one-third of their capacities though the government has given permission to expand their operations.
Ministry of civil aviation has allowed the domestic airlines to operate at 60 percent operational capacity on Wednesday. In an order released by the ministry, the central government has now increased the earlier limit of 45 percent to 60 percent with effect immediately.
The order further clarified that other rules and regulations related to the domestic travel amid COVID-19 remain unchanged.
The civil aviation ministry stated that the decision to further open the skies for domestic airlines was taken after a meticulous review of the current status of the scheduled flight operations in the country in accordance with the demand of passengers.
Most of the airlines’ operations have still stuck at one-third of their capacity despite being allowed to expand their operations. The average occupancy of the flights has not crossed 50 to 60 percent.
Passenger influx remains tepid on the back of fear of infection and lukewarm demand in the business segment.
Meanwhile, the air travel cost costlier with the civil aviation ministry increasing the aviation security fee for both domestic and international travelers.
This fee is being used for security arrangements at the airport.
The central government has recently ordered that the international flight operations will remain suspended until September and only Vande Bharat repatriation mission flights and the sir bubble flights are allowed to operate.
International all-cargo operations and flights specifically permitted by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation will also be allowed.
Recently, the civil aviation ministry has also revised the standard operating procedures for domestic and international flights to allow airlines to serve meals on-demand.
Passengers can now be served pre-packed meals, snacks and beverages as per the policy of the airline.
For international flights, airlines would now be able to serve hot beverages with limited beverage options as per the standard operating procedures of the airlines.
As per the new guidelines, passengers coming without masks will be up on the no-fly list.
Aviation has been one of the worst hit sectors due to COVID-19 pandemic. India has reopened its skies for the domestic carriers on May 25 after a two-month complete shut down.
Initially in May, the airlines were allowed to operate only at one-third of their capacity which was later increased to 45 percent and now to 60 percent.
By Gayatri Yellayi