Airlines to operate 13,000 flights per week during winters

Indian airlines have already achieved over 55% of pre-COVID capacity with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) approving 12,983 domestic departures for the winter schedule starting today.

Indian airlines have already achieved over 55% of pre-COVID capacity with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) approving 12,983 domestic departures for the winter schedule starting today. According to the official data, Indian airlines operated 23,307 departures a week during the winter schedule last year. “These numbers are on the basis of a current approved plan, which can be increased as and when the need arises,” said a senior government official, who did not want to be identified.

According to the current regulations, the government has allowed domestic airlines to operate flights totalling up to 60% of the pre-COVID capacity. The airlines are already operating over half of pre-COVID flights and permitted capacity is likely to be increased to 75% around Diwali, as airlines are registering an increase in demand due to the festive season, which is going to increase further around Diwali.

Airlines, which were grounded due to the lockdown during the months of April and May, were allowed to restart operations from May 25. The airlines were, initially, allowed to operate only 33% of pre-COVID flights, which was increased to 45% and then to 60% during the first week of September. Among the airlines, IndiGo continues to be the largest carrier in terms of weekly departures. Of the total 12983 flights, IndiGo has been allowed to operate 6,006 departures weekly followed by SpiceJet that has been allowed to operate 1,957 departures per week.


The government expects the total number of daily departures to reach pre-COVOD levels by the end of this year, which seems unlikely. Airlines, however, say that they are seeing a surge in demand due to the festive season as well as people travelling for business returning to planes. During the current month, airlines saw an increase in travel during long weekends and also due to the festive season. Industry insiders predict that the festive season rush is set to continue in November.
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