Domestic aviation sector to reach pre-COVID passenger traffic soon

Domestic aviation sector to reach pre-COVID passenger traffic soon

COVID-19 outbreak is among the worst phases the world is facing, and one of the worst-hit sectors during the pandemic was aviation. However, the good news is that the domestic aviation sector in India is fast touching pre-COVID era passenger traffic.

The news was shared by Mr Pradeep Singh Kharola, Civil Aviation Secretary. He stated that the worst phase is over for the aviation sector. Domestic aviation played an important role during the lockdown caused by the pandemic. A number of repatriation flights were operated to help bring back and drop stranded passengers to their home countries.

Essentials such as medicines, PPE kits, food and agricultural produce were transferred from one place to another during the lockdown. Airlines have also been ferrying the most important temperature-controlled COVID-19 vaccines to the world.

Kharola said, “The worst seems to be behind us. Daily passenger numbers are rising, but we will wait till it reaches the mark of 3.85 lakh per day. At that level, the current traffic rate would have reached the per-Covid levels. Only after reaching that mark and seeing a consistency in that trend will we be able to lift the fare and capacity cap”.

The Centre also introduced fare bands, which came into effect on May 21, 2020, to boost the number of air travellers. The fare structure was fixed to help travellers and was divided into sections based on travel time and every section had its minimum and maximum fare.

Explaining further, the Secretary said such steps were crucial to protect the aviation industry. “No airline in India went burst and the reason for this is the calibrated way in which the whole process was conducted” he said.

In terms of growth obstacles, domestic aviation is facing state-imposed specific challenges and quarantine norms. Yet, after lifting of travel restrictions, the sector has experienced immense growth in terms of number of passengers.

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