India’s air traffic within touching distance of pre-COVID numbers: Puri

at 5:44 pm
domestic flights
Representational/file image

New Delhi (NVI): Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri today said that India’s air passenger traffic is within touching distance of Pre-COVID numbers with 2,90,518 passengers travelling on 2,360 flights on Friday.

Taking to Twitter, Puri said, “2,90,518 passengers on 2,360 flights on 19 February is within touching distance of Pre-COVID numbers and marks revival of the domestic sector.”

“From transporting essential and medical supplies, to movement of vaccines, civil aviation sector plays a key role in efforts against COVID-19,” he added.

Earlier on February 18, at a meeting of the Civil Aviation Ministry’s consultative committee Puri had said that domestic air traffic is increasing day-by-day and has now reached around 30,00,00 passengers daily.

He said with domestic air traffic expected to increase further in the coming summer season and the Government of India may remove the fare band besides lifting other restrictions.

The flights operations were severely affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country last year, as domestic flights were ceased with effect from March 24, 2020.

The operation initially resumed after two months gap on May 25 last year and since the resumption of flights, domestic air traffic continued to sequentially improve in January 2021.

According to the ministry data, at present, the capacity of domestic air travel has increased to 80 per cent of their pre-Covid capacity from the previous 70 per cent by the government in December last year.

However the initial air travel capacity in May, 2020, was limited to 33 per cent of their pre-Covid levels to contain the spread of coronavirus through travel.