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Airlines ferrying 70K passengers per day: Minister

New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday said that domestic airlines are ferrying 70,000 passengers per day across the country.

In his address at a GMR Group-organised webinar on ‘Reposing the faith in flying', the minister said that 70 per cent utilisation of the allowed capacity (33 per cent) has been reached.

The domestic flight services resumed from May 25. At present, airlines are only allowed to deploy 33 per cent of their total capacity.

According to Puri, the full utilisation is expected to be reached soon after which a further capacity augmentation might be allowed.

Since the re-commencement of domestic flight services, airlines in India have ferried a total of 12 lakh passengers.

In terms of opening up the international travel segment, Puri pointed out that such a move depends on various factors, including bilateral discussions and the expansion of total domestic capacity by 50-55 per cent, amongst others.

Other panellists in the webinar, like SpiceJet's Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh, said that the airline will continue to operate more cargo flights, ferry domestic passengers and deploy aircraft for evacuation purposes through its charter services.

Singh said that within the next few days, the airline will operate 40 charter evacuation services.

Asked about the prospects of SpiceJet to operate wide-body aircraft as and when the international market opens up, he said that such a move will be contingent to policy support by the government.

Besides, Singh said that all domestic airlines should look at operating wide-body aircraft to make Indian airports as major hubs and should not allow foreign network players to take away passenger traffic from India's air carriers.

–IANS

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