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Airlines may soon be permitted to operate 75 pc of pre-COVID domestic flights: Puri

New Delhi: Airlines may be permitted to operate maximum 75 per cent of their pre-COVID scheduled domestic flights if the passenger numbers continue to remain healthy during the next 7-10 days, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Thursday.

The government on September 2 had said Indian airlines can operate up to 60 per cent of their pre-COVID services within the country.

On June 26, the Ministry of Civil Aviation had allowed the airlines to operate a maximum of 45 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic flights.

The ministry had restarted domestic passenger services from May 25, after a gap of two months due to the coronavirus-triggered lockdown. However, the airlines were allowed to operate not more than 33 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic flights at that time.

"Our internal thinking is that we will watch it for another week or 10 days....If the figures (of passengers travelling) continue to be healthy, we would open domestic civil aviation to 75 per cent of the pre-COVID levels," Puri said at a press conference on Thursday.

Scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in the country since March 23 due to the pandemic.

However, special international flights have been operating under the Vande Bharat Mission since May and under bilateral air bubble pacts signed with various countries since July.

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