Air India would resume direct flights on the Mumbai-Mangaluru-Mumbai sector from October 12, the airline said. Months after the suspension of the service due to the pandemic, the airline is to operate flights four days a week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
The flight would leave Mumbai at 10.15 am and arrive here at 12 pm. The flight from here would depart at 12.40 pm and land in Mumbai at 2.20 pm, the airline said in a statement.
In a recent press conference, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that airlines may be permitted to operate maximum 75 per cent of their pre-COVID scheduled domestic flights. The government on September 2 had said Indian airlines can operate up to 60 per cent of their pre-COVID services within the country.
On June 26, the Ministry of Civil Aviation had allowed the airlines to operate a maximum of 45 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic flights. The ministry had restarted domestic passenger services from May 25, after a gap of two months due to the coronavirus-triggered lockdown. However, the airlines were allowed to operate not more than 33 per cent of their pre-COVID domestic flights at that time. "Our internal thinking is that we will watch it for another week or 10 days….If the figures (of passengers travelling) continue to be healthy, we would open domestic civil aviation to 75 per cent of the pre-COVID levels," Puri said.
Scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in the country since March 23 due to the pandemic. However, special international flights have been operating under the Vande Bharat Mission since May and under bilateral air bubble pacts signed with various countries since July.