New Delhi, April 26: The Central government on Monday extended fare caps on domestic flights till May 21. The Civil Aviation ministry also restricted domestic flight capacities to 80 percent of pre-COVID levels. The ministry issued an order in this regard on April 26. The development came days after airlines demanded to reduce the capacity cap to 60 percent from 80 percent. Domestic Flights' Cap Increased From 70% to 80% of Pre-COVID-19 Levels by Centre.
The demand for reducing the capacity came after v=bookings reduced amid rising COVID-19 cases. Earlier this month, airline representatives at a meeting with Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola had reportedly demanded a financial assistance package from the Centre to deal with the second COVID-19 wave. No Check-In Baggage? Get Discount on Air Ticket Fares for Domestic Flights.
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The domestic aviation sector was reopened on May 25, 2020, with a limited capacity of 33 percent. Since then, the operational capacity has only been increased in consonance with rising passenger traffic. Some airlines had even demanded that DGCA should strictly enforce compliance with lower fare limits as "many instances of tickets being sold at much cheaper fares" have come to light.
Last month, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) extended the suspension on international commercial flights till April 30. However, international passenger flights under air travel bubble arrangements will continue. Passenger air services were suspended on March 25, 2020, due to the nationwide lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus.