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Expect to reach pre-COVID level air travel by year-end or early next year, says Hardeep Singh Puri

While the Union Minister expressed confidence that air travel would reach pre-COVID levels by 2020-end or early 2021, he also said that the existing safety protocols needed to be strengthened further

twitter-logoPTI | November 17, 2020 | Updated 08:56 IST
Expect to reach pre-COVID level air travel by year-end or early next year, says Hardeep Singh Puri
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday expressed confidence that air travel would reach pre-COVID levels by the end of the year or early next year.

"We opened civil aviation on May 25, a good two months and two days after we have completely locked down.....with 30,000 passengers on a day. Two days or three days ago, I think just before Diwali, we carried 225,000 and with a scale at which we are opening up in a calibrated manner, we have already opened up 70 per cent capacity," he said.

He said he has told his colleagues to look at 80 per cent. "I am confident that by the end of the year, by December 31 or soon thereafter... means a week or two weeks thereafter, we will be back to pre-COVID levels," he said.

But, reaching the pre-COVID levels requires that the existing safety protocols are strengthened further, he said. "But, that requires, in turn, that we continue to maintain the existing safety protocols, we strengthen them and we are able to adapt...," he added.

Puri was speaking through video conference at 'Deccan Dialogue' organised by the Indian School of Business (ISB) here.

Also read: 'Happy Diwali' for airlines; footfall touches new high as people rush to native places

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