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Airlines get 12,983 weekly domestic flights, 44.3% less than last year

New Delhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said it has approved 12,983 weekly domestic flights of airlines for the winter schedule that begins on Sunday and ends on March 27 next year.

In comparison to last year's winter schedule, when 23,307 weekly domestic services were approved by the DGCA, this year's winter schedule has got 44.3 per cent less of those flights approved, according to the aviation regulator.

The DGCA said on Sunday it has approved 6,006 weekly domestic flights of IndiGo for this year's winter schedule. IndiGo is India's largest airline.

SpiceJet and GoAir have respectively got 1,957 weekly domestic flights and 1,203 weekly domestic flights approved, the regulator said. Air India has got 1,126 weekly domestic flights.

Currently, airlines in India are allowed to operate a maximum 60 per cent of pre-COVID weekly domestic flights. The cap on flights is likely to be raised to 75 per cent soon as air travel is showing signs of revival. As that happens, the domestic schedule will keep getting enhanced, meaning there will be more flights.

These 55.7 per cent flights will be operating from 95 Indian airports between October 25 and March 27, 2021, the DGCA said. The list of 95 airports shows Gujarat has the maximum cities linked by air at nine. It is followed by Karnataka and Maharashtra at eight each. Assam, Tamil Nadu, UP and Rajasthan have six cities each.

India resumed scheduled domestic flights on May 25 after a gap of two months due to the Coronavirus pandemic. At that time, airlines were permitted to operate just 33 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic flights. This figure was gradually increased in the later months.

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