Around 0.03 per cent (341 passengers) of around 12.4 lakh domestic passengers who travelled between May 25 and June 15 were found to be positive for coronavirus. The government started flight services after May 25, after around two months of lockdown. Since then, as many as 13,554 flights have operated in the Indian airspace till June 15, CNBC TV18 reported.
Of all the airlines, around 186 IndiGo passengers tested positive during this period, of which 6 lakh passengers flew with the airline. Considering the phased opening of the airspace, IndiGo now aims to run 50% of its total daily capacity of 1,500 plus flights in July as well as restart international operations probably in the Middle East countries, the airline's CEO Ronojoy Dutta has said. IndiGo currently operates around 350 flights daily.
Although airlines were permitted to function up to 30% of their capacity after May 25, several conditions imposed by state governments in the wake of the pandemic are keeping the numbers low.
Vistara reported 17 passengers as COVID-19 positive, while 36 passengers of the state-owned Air India and its subsidiary Alliance Air were found positive. Of the total passengers who travelled via GoAir and SpiceJet, just 15 and 60 passengers, respectively, were found positive.
These figures indicate a high level of safety standards being implemented by the airlines as well as airport authorities to ensure social distancing and hygiene. As per the DGCA guidelines, all those sitting on the middle seats are given PPE kits, and the airlines also provide face shield, gloves and masks to all passengers.
Experts believe there's no evidence of community transmission via air travel, which is good news for the airlines struggling to keep up with the revenue.
IndiGo has the largest market share in India, followed by SpiceJet at 16%; Air India 10.8%; GoAir at 9.9%; AirAsia India 7.6%; and Vistara 5.9%.
All commercial passenger flights in India were suspended on March 25, when the nationwide lockdown was first imposed to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. As a result, over 650 aircraft were grounded.