Domestic air travel may have opened up, but passenger woes continue as low demand, varying state government orders and evolving lockdown rules cause chaos for airlines.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MCA) now allows airlines to operate at 45 percent capacity, but many airlines are cancelling up to a quarter of their daily scheduled flights.
While the Centre allows for up to 1,200 flights per day, the actual daily schedule numbers below 800.
Domestic airlines are cancelling between 10-25 percent of their everyday flights even as many unhappy passengers are yet to receive their refunds, The Economic Times reported.
Airlines are selling up to one-third of capacity, but operating about a fourth of flights, cancelling flights because of low demand, updated lockdown rules or state government diktats. Inadequate communication and lack of transparency has intensified the trouble, it noted.
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For example, Tamil Nadu has been reluctant to accept incoming passengers from Maharashtra and Gujarat due to high number of COVID-19 cases in these states. Tamil Nadu government had in fact written to the MCA asking for “barest minimum” flights from these two states.
There has been, however, no formal announcement or order on the same, which means airlines keep allowing bookings from these states and then cancelling based on current situation.
IndiGo, India’s leading domestic carrier in term of passengers ferried per month, has had a larger number of “ad hoc, last minute” cancellations, a source told the paper.
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.
The gauge to filter demand trends is also practically non-existent as most bookings these days is 10 days in advance at maximum.Follow our full COVID-19 coverage here