As the number of coronavirus cases has risen sharply in the last fortnight, different states have put in restrictions on the entry of flights coming from cities that have seen a majority of cases. With the fear of contracting coronavirus and the imposition of different quarantine norms across the country, air travellers have their task cut out amid the coronavirus pandemic. When the Directorate General of Civil Aviation had resumed the domestic flight service two months ago, it had allowed domestic airline carriers to operate at 45 per cent capacity but Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has said that the domestic flight operations have not even reached 33 per cent of its pre-COVID level.
Indian domestic flights – current situation
The government had allowed domestic flight services at all airports but the final decision on the routes was left to state governments and airline operators. The West Bengal government has banned the entry of flights from six cities that have seen a massive number of coronavirus cases such as Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Nagpur and Ahmedabad.
Additionally, following the state government’s decision to impose a bi-weekly lockdown to break the chain, the airport authority of India suspended the flights from going to Kolkata and Bagdogra and the move is likely to be repeated next week.
Indian domestic flights fare
In order to prevent an excessive surge in the airline fare due to heavy demand, the government had charted fare level into seven bands based on the length of the trip. The first band includes flights with a length of 40 minutes or less, with their respective lower and upper fare limits. The second, third, fourth and fifth bands are for 40-60 minute, 60-90 minute, 90-120 minute and 120-150 minute trips, respectively.
On flights fare price, domestic flight trips of less than 40 minutes have lower and upper limits of Rs 2,000 and Rs 6,000; 40-60 minutes of Rs 2,500 and Rs 7,500, 60-90 minutes of Rs 3,000 and Rs 9,000; 90-120 minutes of Rs 3,500 and Rs 10,000; 120-150 minutes of Rs 4,500 and Rs 13,000; 150-180 minutes of Rs 5,500 and Rs 15,700 and 180-210 minutes of Rs 6,500 and Rs 13,000.
Notably, these flight fare price bands set for the flight tickets of Economy class are exclusive of the passenger service fee, user development fee and the GST.