Cap on domestic airfares to extend upto May 31

Cap on domestic airfares to extend upto May 31
The limits imposed on airfares and on number of domestic flights that can be operated in the Indian market will extend till May 31, said the Civil Aviation Ministry on Monday. Currently, the airlines are permitted to operate not more than 80% of their pre-COVID domestic flights. Moreover, they are allowed to charge domestic airfares only within lower and upper limits, which were set by the ministry in May last year. In two separate orders on Monday, the ministry said the caps on capacity as well as airfares will "remain in force till 2359 hrs on May 31, 2021, or until further orders". When India had resumed its domestic flight services on May 25 last year, it had told the airlines to operate not more than 33 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic flights. This was gradually increased to up to 80 per cent by December 3, 2020. On May 21 last year, the ministry had placed lower and upper limits on airfares through seven bands, classified on the basis of flight duration. For example, the first band consists of all flights that are of under 40 minutes' duration. The lower limit on such flights is Rs 2,300 and the upper limit is Rs 7,500. This comes as various states have imposed varying degrees of curfews and lockdowns amid surging COVID-19 cases.  With 3,23,144 people testing positive for coronavirus infection in a day, India's total tally of COVID-19 cases has climbed to 1,76,36,307, while the national recovery rate has further dropped to 82.54%, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday. The death toll increased to 1,97,894 with 2,771 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed. Registering a steady increase, the active cases have increased to 28,82,204 comprising 16.34% of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has further dropped to 82.54%. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,45,56,209 while the case fatality rate has further dropped to 1.12%, the data stated.

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