On the back of rising Covid-19 cases resulting in air passenger number decline, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has reduced the capacity of domestic flights. It was seen that over the last three months, the number of people travelling in flights were comparatively lesser than the travellers taking flights earlier. Considering this scenario, the aviation ministry decided to reduce the capacity of airlines operating on domestic routes in India. The capacity for the domestic flights will be half of the pre-Covid levels. As of now, the domestic flights have been operating at 80 per cent capacity.
Ever since the flight operations resumed last year on May 25 after two months of lockdown, this is the first time that the authorities have taken action in reduction of capacity further, a report by The IE noted. As the new rules kick in from June 1, many people will have to face cancellations or rescheduling for the flights that will operate during summers.
For travellers who have already booked their flights on or after June 1, the airlines will ensure their travel arrangements. Their seats will either be booked for an alternative flight or they will receive a change in schedule (dates). The airlines can provide a refund also. Right now, the change in flight or schedule is being offered by the airlines without any additional cost.
Apart from this, the government has also increased the lower limit of the flight fares. This means that the lower limit of flights to charge a fee for a particular distance has been increased. For flights travelling a distance that can be covered under 40 minutes the lower limit has been increased from Rs 2,300 to Rs 2,600. Similarly, duration between 40 minutes and 60 minutes will see the minimum cost of Rs 3,300 from the current Rs 2,900. Just like this, lower limit of flight charges has been increased distance wise with the maximum lower limit far at Rs 8,700 for flights having duration of 180 to 210 minutes.
The changes have been put in place depending on the changes in the domestic aviation market, the report noted. Meanwhile, on May 25, approximately 39,000 passengers travelled in India via domestic flights and this has significantly reduced from 3.13 lakh domestic air passengers travelling in India on February 28 this year.