Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Monday said in the Rajya Sabha that passenger traffic in the aviation sector has almost returned to the pre-pandemic level in the country."The maximum number of passengers in India per day in pre Covid times were close to about 4 lakh. We reached a level of 3.83 lakh per day in the month of December. So we are very well on our way back to recovery, roughly about 5 to 6 per cent off from pre pandemic level," Scindia said.Referring to the hardships faced by this sector in the last two years due to Covid-19, he further said that this sector was badly affected on the economic front and in the third Covid wave, the passenger traffic went down to almost about 1.60 lakh passengers per day."I am pleased to inform the House that yesterday we again reached a level of 3.8 lakh passengers per day.
We are seeing a resuscitation in the sector and with that, we hope to see a rebound in terms of employment opportunities," the Minister said.Scindia was responding to Shiv Sena MP Anil Desai who asked about the government's steps to restore the loss of jobs caused due to the pandemic in the aviation sector.NCP lawmaker Praful Patel asked about the impact of current high price of the crude oil in the aviation sector. The Civil Aviation Minister said that in the Indian aviation sector, the fuel component is almost 35 per cent of the total pricing and the government is taking steps so that this sector which has almost regained its prior position should not face further problem.He also said that the average states' surcharge varies from 10 per cent to 30 per cent in the country where the states collect tax on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF). "I will personally speak to the states and request them to reduce the surcharge on ATF so that this sector does not face much problem.