‘Airlines decide the flight services’
While answering a question in the Rajya Sabha, Union Minister Puri said that the civil aviation sector was completely closed on 23 March 2020 in view of the Coronavirus Pandemic. After this, it was reinstated on 25 May with many stringent conditions. He said, “Our effort has always been to open a little more than the actual and potential traffic.” Regarding flight services not being operated up to 80 per cent of capacity, Puri said that the airlines take this decision on a commercial basis.
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Given the situation, it was necessary to implement the price band
Hardeep Singh Puri said that the move to impose minimum and maximum limits on air fares was an extraordinary measure, which became necessary due to extraordinary circumstances. It was implemented so that in the event of limited availability of seats, airlines are not able to collect fares from passengers. Puri said, ‘It is not our intention that the Fair Band should be a permanent feature. It also cannot be a free and unregulated market situation. So, we hope that by summer the flights will come to the pre-Kovid crisis level. After this, we will not need the price band.