LONDON – The Indian Government has today increased the allowed capacity for domestic flights to 65% of pre-COVID-19 operations from 50%, opening up more options for passengers in the region.
This has been seen as a step in the right direction, especially from the huge reduction from 80% to 50% on June 1.
However, airlines operating in the country have requested the government to allow capacity to return to 100%, as regulating capacity would impact the recovery of the domestic market in India.
IndiGo President Ronojoy Dutta commented on these moves, remaining optimistic that the cap would be lifted further as we approach the end of this month, as mentioned by the Economic Tines in India.
“There is a bigger issue of should the government be involved in this at all? Early on, I was okay with it, because no one knew how the passengers would behave. It made sense during the first wave. This collaborative effort, I thought, was very helpful. And we fully supported it. (but)…at this point, I think the government really should get out of the way and I’m hopeful. So, I’m quite optimistic that come July they will be responsive and take the cap up”.
It is understood this cap lifting will enable the number of Indian flights to rise well over 2,000 daily, but the likes of IndiGo are stating that the regulations are in place to help weaker airlines from going bust, thus limiting competitive advantage going forward.