Indian carriers have increased their domestic services by 10.1% to 25,309 weekly flights in the upcoming summer schedule as compared to 22,980 last season, aviation regulator DGCA said on Friday, March 11.
IndiGo has increased its domestic flights by 10.4% to 11,130 weekly services for summer 2022 as compared to 10,084 weekly services in the corresponding period in 2021, the regulator noted.
The COVID-19-induced travel restrictions have badly affected the Indian aviation industry in the last 24 months. However, with COVID-19 infections decreasing, air travel has been picking up in the last couple of weeks.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said the summer schedule of Indian carriers has been finalised after a virtual meeting held last month on airport slots. The summer schedule begins on March 27 and ends on October 29.
As compared to the summer schedule of 2020, which was pre-COVID-19, there has been a growth of 3.7% departures this time. In 2021, the DGCA had approved 18,843 flights per week, keeping in mind that airlines were permitted to operate not more than 80% of their pre-COVID flights.
The DGCA said, “It has been observed that 25,309 departures per week have been finalised to and from 112 airports. Out of these 112 airports, Gondia, Ziro and Puducherry are the new airports proposed by the scheduled airlines.”
The Centre-owned Alliance Air will be operating 17.6% more weekly domestic flights (982 flights) in summer this year as compared to 835 services in the corresponding period last year, the regulator noted.
The Tata Group-run AirAsia India will operate 1,601 weekly domestic services — a 16% jump — in summer 2022, it mentioned. Air India, which was sold in 2021 to the Tata Group, has increased its weekly domestic services for summer this year by 10% to 2,456, it noted.
It said SpiceJet will be operating 14.2% more weekly domestic services in summer 2022 as compared to the same period in 2021, it mentioned. Vistara and Go First will be increasing its weekly domestic services by just 6.7% and 1.9% in summer 2022 as compared to summer 2021, it mentioned.
Regional carrier FlyBig will operate 158 weekly domestic flights in summer 2022 as compared to 54 weekly services in summer 2021, it noted.
On March 8, the Civil Aviation Ministry had announced that it will resume regular international flight operations from March 27. The ministry further added that international operations shall be subject to strict adherence to Ministry of Health guidelines for international travel.
The Scheduled international flight services have remained suspended in India since March 23, 2020. However, special international flights have been operating between India and about 35 other countries since July 2020 under air bubble arrangements.
India currently has air transport bubbles with 40 countries, including Canada, France, Germany, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the US.