International passenger traffic fell by 90.56 per cent to 18.55 lakh in March-December period of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic as compared to the corresponding period of 2019, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Wednesday. Moreover, domestic passenger traffic fell to 3.77 crore in March-December period of 2020 from 11.99 crore in the corresponding period of 2019, the minister said.
Scheduled international passenger traffic continues to remain suspended in India since March 23, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, special international flights have been operating since July 2020 under air bubble arrangements formed with various countries.
"Revenues of major Indian scheduled carriers fell from Rs. 46,711 crore during April-September 2019 to about Rs. 11,810 crore during April-September 2020. Their full time and contractual employment which was 74,887 as on 31 March 2020 fell to 67,906 as on 30 September 2020," Puri told Rajya Sabha in a written reply to a question.
"Domestic passenger traffic fell from 11,99,45,632 during March-December 2019 to 3,77,79,592 during March-December 2020, while international passenger traffic fell from 1,96,64,179 to 18,55,033," he added.
Domestic passenger traffic was suspended in India from March 25, 2020 to May 24, 2020, due to the coronavirus-triggered lockdown. Currently, the Indian carriers are permitted to operate not more than 80 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic flights.