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Almost 65% of domestic air travel returns to pre-Covid level: civil aviation security

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Almost 65 percent of domestic air travel has returned to the pre-Covid-19 level and a strategy now needs to be developed to regain the tourism industry, Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola said on Saturday.

He was addressing a webinar on ‘Aviation and Tourism: The Way Forward’ organized by the Federation of Hospitality and Tourism Association of India (FAITH).

Kharola also said that in the times of Covid-19 air travel has become a preferred mode of travel as it is a safe means of transportation.

“On the first day of resumption of domestic air services (May 25) there were 79,000 people traveling and we were concerned. But gradually it began to improve, ”he said.

Kharola said that a total of 2.50 lakh passengers traveled on domestic flights on Friday and considering that the average number of passengers per day was around 3.70-3.75 lakh before the pandemic struck the country, almost 65 percent of those domestic travel back to pre-Covid. -19 level.

He said that as more commercial activities and universities open, this may rise to 80-90 percent in the next 2-3 months or close to normal.

Kharola also said that since business travel demand will be slow to return, it will be segments like VFR (visiting friends and family) that will drive demand in aviation in the future.

On the opening of scheduled international commercial passenger flights, he said, “international aviation depends not only on us but also on the other side.” Kharola said that with domestic air travel returning to normal, the tourism industry should also rebound.

“Aviation is going towards normality. This normality should also be incorporated into the tourism industry. The tourist destinations have already opened, the ASI has opened the monuments. Now is the time to convince people that it is safe to travel, ”said Kharola.

“So we all have to work together and develop a strategy to motivate domestic tourism to recover as well,” he said, adding that at the same time other countries should also consider issuing tourist visas again.

Kharola also urged the tourism industry to promote domestic airlines, as it would help revive the economy.

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