New Delhi [India], October 8: Around two lakh domestic air passengers will be flying every day by the end of October, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Thursday, adding that between Diwali and the year-end the figure is expected to reach 3 lakhs.
“With regard to the number of daily domestic air passengers, the figure on October 2 and 3 was around 1,76,000. Now it’s our assessment that by the end of this month, we will be at 2 lakhs. Between Diwali and the end of the year, we will reach 3 lakh passengers daily,” Puri said in a press conference here.
He said that the COVID-19 pandemic is unique in many ways and the only situation it can be compared to is the Spanish Flu of the year 1918.
“SARS had a mortality rate of 17 per cent. We have been successful in India. We started with a mortality rate of 3 per cent or so but we substantially brought it down. It is the very comprehensive and effective measures that the Prime Minister took which has saved us from a consequence that could have been devastating,” Puri said.
“The lockdown gave us the time to produce health infrastructure. We brought in around 1,928 tonnes of medical equipment and other medical supplies, which were required to be imported from other countries. Air India played a very important role, as did some other carriers,” he added.
The Union Civil Aviation Minister said that the domestically Lifeline Udaan also produced and necessitated a total kilometer coverage of 5,45,685 km and added that the total cargo load carried domestically was 940.29 tonnes.
He also said that over 30 tonnes of medical supplies were sent by India to its neighboring countries and other parts of the world.
All scheduled commercial passenger flights were suspended in India on March 25 after the central government imposed a lockdown to contain the further spread of COVID-19. Domestic flights in the country resumed operations from May 25 in a gradual manner.