Domestic air travel is set to touch 80% of pre-Covid level, official says – Times of India

CHENNAI: The domestic travel is set to touch 80% of the pre-Covid level in three to four months and the summer holidays are set to signal a complete revival, said civil aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola on Saturday.
Taking part in a webinar on “Aviation & Tourism – The Road Ahead” organised by FAITH (Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality), Kharola said, “29,000 people travelled on the first day when flights resumed which is not a good number for a country like India. On Friday, 2.5lakh people travelled in domestic flights. The pre-Covid normal is 3.75 lakh. December will see growth when colleges and schools may reopen and also due to other relaxations.”
There is a huge pent up demand for tourism which will help a revival in three to four months, he said. “We need to work out a strategy with the travel and hospitality sector to promote domestic tourism by encouraging people to fly,” he added.
“The future is going to be different for aviation. Business travel will reduce. Leisure and family visits will gain importance. People will want to fly more than travel by trains. Time saved by travelling in flights means more days to visit and also more hotel occupancy,” he said.
The international sector was different due to the different rules of other countries, he added. However, “the government is going step by step. First flights were for evacuation and then it led to an ‘air bubble’. Some of the ‘air bubble’ routes will be converted into regular international flights. But we alone cannot decide because the health ministry, the home ministry and the foreign ministry will have to sit and decide,” he added.

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