Airlines will be allowed to not just return to pre-pandemic levels but go beyond that as well depending on demand. This means that from winter schedule — that comes into effect from end of next month — airlines can have a full complement of domestic flights.
“After review of the current status of scheduled domestic operations viz-a-viz passenger demand for air travel… it has been decided to restore the scheduled domestic air operations with effect from October 18, 2021, without any capacity restriction,” the govt said in the official notification.
“The airlines/airport operators shall, however, ensure that the guidelines to contain the spread of Covid are strictly adhered to and Covid appropriate behaviour is strictly enforced by them during the travel,” the circular added.
Scheduled domestic and international flights were suspended in March last year in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Domestic flights were allowed to resume from May 25, 2020 at one-third of pre-Covid levels. Since then capacity deployment has changed depending on Covid conditions.
From next week, the restrictions will be relaxed and domestic flights can operate at full capacity.
International flights are being operated under air bubbles and Vande Bharat Mission.
However, with the government allowing foreign tourists on charters from this month and non-charters next month, airlines are wondering if the restrictions on international will also partially ease.