The Ministry for Civil Aviation on Tuesday said the current restrictions imposed on the capacity of domestic flights will be removed from October 18.
"After review of the current status of scheduled domestic operations viz-a-viz passenger demand for air travel...it has been decided to restore the scheduled domestic air operations with effect from 18.10.2021 without any capacity restriction," the ministry said in an order.
The government had capped the capacity of domestic airlines when the services were restarted after the pandemic-induced suspension last year. Currently, airlines can operate a maximum of 85 per cent of their pre-Covid-19 domestic flights.
When the government had resumed the scheduled domestic flights on May 25 last year, after a two-month break, the ministry had allowed the carriers to operate not more than 33 per cent of their pre-Covid-19 domestic services.
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The cap was gradually increased to up to 80 per cent by December last year. However, it was reduced to 50 per cent from June 1 this year in view of the deadly second wave of the pandemic in the country.
However, as the number of cases started declining and travel restrictions were removed, the ministry gradually started increasing the cap.
While the cap was at 50 per cent between June 1 and July 5, it stood at 65 per cent between July 5 and August 12. It was then increased to 72.5 per cent before being further raised to the current 85 per cent.
The latest order said that the airlines and airport operators will have to ensure that the guidelines to contain the spread of Covid-19 are strictly adhered to and Covid-19-appropriate behaviour is strictly enforced.
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