MIAMI – Yesterday, the Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGCA) of India increased the number of domestic flights to 56% of levels prior to COVID-19.

The regulator said the winter schedule for domestic flights running until March 21, 2021 permits a total of 12,983 flights from 95 airports.

It is widely believed, according to the Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri, that domestic flights should be a pre-requisite, almost like a test before really ramping up international service as they connect smaller cities to major hubs.

Vistara Airbus A320 at Delhi (DEL) Photo: © Max Taubman – @maximumaviation

A Steady Recovery

When domestic air travel resumed after two months of a total lockdown on May 25, the DGCA permitted airlines to operate at 33% of levels prior to COVID-19.

While increasing the number of flights, the future, Puri notes, depends on a vaccine as “there is no country which has completely opened its borders for all. Everything depends on the availability of a vaccine as countries will feel more confident once a vaccine is there”.

With foreign nationals given a broader freedom to visit India along with a new COVID-19 testing facility at Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL), the aviation sector in India appears to be making a steady recovery.

Featured image: Indigo Airbus A320 at Udaipur (UDR) Photo: © Max Taubman – @maximumaviation

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