While cash-strapped SpiceJet has seen maximum decline in flights, Tata Group’s Vistara has seen the biggest jump among big airlines during this period.
A comparison with last winter is not being made since there were restrictions on how many domestic flights airlines could operate then.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) approved the winter schedule 2021 — that will be effective from October 31 to March 26, 2022, — based on submissions by scheduled domestic airlines.
Domestic flights, including those under regional connectivity scheme, have been finalised to and from 108 airports, including two new ones at Sindhudurg and Kushinagar.
IndiGo alone account for 46% of the flights in the schedule.
Scheduled domestic flights were suspended from March 25 to May 24, 2020, during the national lockdown.
They were allowed to resume from May 25 with the government deciding how many flights, in terms of percentage of the winter schedule 2019-20 that was applicable before flight suspension, airlines could operate. And fare bands were introduced with the government deciding the maximum and minimum domestic airfares airlines could charge depending on distance.
Now capacity restrictions, which do not imply how full a place can fly, have gone and full schedule is back.
The validity of domestic fare bands now applies to flights booked within 15 days of travel. Airlines can charge fares based on market forces of demand and supply for tickets sold for travel beyond 15 days of travel.