Mumbai: India’s second wave of covid-19 has cast a cloud over its airlines, which were barely recovering from the harsh lockdown of 2020.
Domestic passenger traffic has been rising every month since airlines returned to the skies in June. However, in the week ended April 3, fewer Indians flew than the week before, the second straight weekly fall in passenger numbers.
According to a report by ICICI Securities, an average of 239,000 people took domestic flights every day during the week, less than the 251,000 people who travelled in the previous week.
This is the first time in the last three months that passenger traffic declined. In comparison, domestic passenger traffic in the first week of March stood at 18,14,867. Domestic passenger traffic in the first seven days of January and February stood at 16,22,249 and 17,41,013, respectively, as per data.
Meanwhile, amid the rising number of Covid cases in the country, the government has barred meals on flights with less than 2-hour duration.
Further, in terms of longer flights, the servicing of inflight meals would have to be staggered among the adjacent seats as far as possible, according to an office memorandum issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
“Crew shall wear a fresh set of gloves for each meal/beverage service,” the notification added.
Scheduled domestic flights were resumed on May 25 last year after Covid related lockdown, and the ministry had then allowed the airlines to serve in-flight meals under certain conditions.
The ministry said it has decided to review the on-board meal services in domestic flights in view of the increasing threat of Covid-19 and its variants.