New Delhi: All efforts have been made to reduce the impact of the pandemic on the aviation sector. Some of the measures taken to support the aviation sector include inter-alia:
1. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, domestic air services have been restarted in a calibrated manner. Initially only one third (33%) of the summer schedule 2020 was allowed to be operated which was subsequently increased to 45% on 26 Jun 2020 and then to 60% on 02 Sep 2020.
2. Operation of Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) – UDAN (UdeDeshKaAamNagrik) flights were allowed without the above-mentioned restrictions.
3. Exclusive air-links or Air Bubbles have been established with countries which include Afghanistan, Bahrain, Canada, France, Germany, Qatar, Maldives, UAE, UK and USA. These are temporary arrangements aimed at restarting international passenger services while regular international flights remain suspended due to COVID-19.
4. Promoted private investments in existing and new Airports through the PPP route.
5. Adequate care taken to ensure that cargo terminals at all major airports were operational, whenever required.
6. GST rate reduced to 5% for domestic Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services.
7. Encouraging Indian carriers to increase their share in International air cargo traffic.
8. Route rationalisation in the Indian airspace in coordination with Indian Air Force for efficient airspace management, shorter routes and reduced fuel burn.
This information was given in a written reply by Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (I/C) Civil Aviation, in Lok Sabha today.