DGCA on Thursday announced that Indian airlines can now operate a maximum of 72.5% of their pre-Covid domestic flights instead of 65% with immediate effect.

Now, all domestic airlines are operating on 65% of their pre-Covid domestic flights from July 5, 2021.

In July 2020, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) increased the capacity of domestic flights to 65% from the earlier 50%.

MoCA said in a statement, "After review of the current status of Scheduled Domestic Operations viz-a-viz passenger demand for air travel in terms of the purpose specified in the initial order… is further modified as under 65% capacity may be read as 72.5% capacity. This shall take effect from the date of issue of this order and will remain in place until further orders,"

Thursday's order also said the 72.5% limit "will remain in place until further orders".

The Ministry of Aviation halted domestic flight operations in India in March last year to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country and decided to resume flight services after a two-month break in May last year. Initially only 33% pre-Covid domestic services were allowed to operate.

The cap was gradually raised to 80% by December. The 80% cap remained in place till June 1.

On May 28, the decision to bring down the cap from 80 to 50 per cent with effect from June 1 was taken in view of the "sudden rise in the number of active Coronavirus cases across the country, reduction in passenger traffic and passenger load factors," the ministry had said.

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