Govt extends cap on domestic flight fares till May 31

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has extended fare capping in domestic flights till May 31, 2021. The cap on airline capacity at 80 percent would also be maintained till the end of next month. The order comes days after the airlines had appealed to the Government to reduce capacity to 60 percent as bookings had fallen due to the outbreak of Covid-19. The aviation companies had, earlier in April, knocked at the doors of the Government for help, as the second wave of Covid-19 wreaks havoc on aviation just when they started recovering from the first blow.

Under the fare structure, air routes are divided into sections based on travel time. Each section has its minimum and maximum fare.

On March 19, the ministry announced that all domestic airlines will have to limit their capacity to 80 percent of the pre- Covid capacity because the number of air passengers has declined due to Covid-related restrictions.

Earlier, the ministry had approved 18,843 flights per week from 108 airports for the summer schedule, which begins on the last Sunday of March and ends on the last Sunday of October.

Also last month, Director General of Civil Aviation in a circular said that suspension of international flights has been further extended till April 30. However, international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on case to case basis.

The civil aviation ministry had set the 80 percent limit on December 3, 2020, without specifying till what date it would remain in place.

Fare caps were put in place after domestic air operations were allowed to resume by the government in May last year following two months of grounding of flight operations to contain the covid-19 pandemic..


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