The Indian aviation sector has been served with a disappointing order recently. The government has decided to reduce the number of flights the airlines can operate. In simple words, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has decided to cap the percentage of flights any airline can operate to a lower number than the existing one. According to a report from the Times of India, the government has asked the airlines to restrict their flights capacity to 50% from June 1, 2021. This comes at a time when the airlines need more revenues to stay afloat because of the low demand for travel around the country.
Indian Airlines Can Only Operate Flights at 50% Capacity
Back on December 3, 2020, when things looked to ease a little in relation to the pandemic, the government had reduced the restrictions and allowed airlines to operate flights up to 80% of their capacity.
But as the second wave of COVID-19 has hit India, Satyendra Kumar Mishra, joint secretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, has issued an order to cap the flight capacity for the airlines at 50%. The order will come into effect from June 1, 2021, and will last until July 31, 2021.
It is worth noting that even though the airlines were allowed to operate flights at 80% of their capacity, there weren’t a lot of people willing to travel anyway. Things for the Indian aviation industry has hit a real blockage, and this will also reflect in the investor confidence for the airlines.
For the unaware, when the airlines were allowed to resume after a two-month ban last year, they were only allowed to operate up to 33% of their flights capacity. The restrictions were eased off little after little, only to be brought back on the arrival of the second wave of COVID-19 in India.
The lower cap won’t disappoint the airlines largely because most of their flights would have gone largely empty only. Thus this will actually be a good thing for them and allow them to save costs of fuel and maintenance. It doesn’t look like things will ease anytime soon for the aviation sector of the country.