Starting June 01, till the next two months, domestic airlines in India operate flights at 50% capacity. This was stated in the order issued by Satyendra Kumar Mishra, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation on Friday. The cap will remain in place till July 31 (23:59hrs) and this order was passed due to the dip in passengers and passenger load factor due to sudden spike in coronavirus cases in India.
At present, the flights are operating at 80% capacity and this is the first time that the government has decided to cut the airline capacity since flights resumed last year in the month of May.
Last year in the month of December, the Civil Aviation Ministry of India allowed flights to be resumed back at 70~80% of the pre-covid passenger travel. However, as India experienced a deadlier second wave, there was a huge dip in passenger traffic, and the airline industry was left high and dry.
Many airports saw a huge drop in passenger traffic where Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport which is one of the busiest airports in the country located in Mumbai saw a huge decline of 68% in average passenger traffic. Many airlines were allowed to operate around 30% capacity last year which was eventually increased to 45% as there was a rise in passenger travel.