June 3: Ministry of Civil Aviation took a vital decision for the domestic airlines in India that will now be operating at only up to 50 per cent of their capacity for the next 2 months starting from June 1. The order was issued by Sayendra Kumar Mishra, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Civil Aviation who also mentioned that the order will remain in place till July 31, 2021 (11.59 AM).
After witnessing a heavy dip in the passenger traffic and passenger load factor triggered by the coronavirus cases in the country, the ministry passed the order. At present, airlines are allowed to operate at 80 per cent of the capacity. This is was the first time when the government has decided to cut the capacity of the airlines since the resumption of domestic flight operations in May last year.
Last year in December, the Civil Aviation Ministry took a decision allowing airlines to boost their passenger capacity from 70 to 80 per cent of their pre-covid levels. However, as the country is struggling with the second deadlier wave of virus, the airline industry is one of the most affected industries of the country.
The average daily passenger traffic dropped to about 17,600 passengers as the count showed a dip of 68 per cent compared to the 55,800 passengers catered back in January.
With months passing by, the passenger traffic started growing gradually following which the capacity was also increased, however, as the second covid-19 wave began, the passenger traffic was hit badly shattering the industry. As a result, the airlines in April approached the Ministry urging them to lower the capacity cap from 80 to 60 per cent.