A Sixer For Aviation Industry: Govt. Note.

A Sixer For Aviation Industry: Govt. Note.

Domestic and International Air Traffic to and from India may drop by at least 50% in the current financial year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, causing major job losses and forcing some airlines to land aircraft to rule over the scenario, according to an official note checked by the Hindustan Times on Monday.

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Even so, the Ministry of Tourism reported estimates by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to imply that tourism revenue losses could range from Rs 72,000 crores to Rs 1,58 lakh crores in 2020-21. According to the Ministry, branded hotels will have the greatest impact on the tourism market, driven by tour operators.

The Civil Aviation Ministry also noted that the sector and its stakeholders are focused on improvements for a prosperous, healthy, and productive recovery of the aviation industry. In March, the Government suspended domestic and foreign flights to monitor the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic; they have since continued in a limited manner.

India, which experienced a double-digit rise in air traffic before the COVID 19 pandemic, is aiming at "a big effect on airline and airport revenues," the official note said.

On the basis of preliminary forecasts by airlines, the sector can be expected to reduce international traffic by 50-60% and to reduce domestic traffic by up to 50%, as per the report. It also noted that "there may be a substantial but temporary loss of both direct and indirect employment in the industry."

It also predicted that, due to such disruptions, "it is also possible that certain aircraft will have to be grounded" and "a substantial decline is also predicted in air cargo management at airports across India."

India has two full-service airlines, Air India and Vistara, with the addition of budget carriers IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir, and Air Asia. Besides these airlines, there are some small airlines which, along with Indigo, fly on routes under the Udaan scheme, which are organized to boost regional air connectivity and make air travel accessible for the masses.

Kapil Kaul, CEO of aviation consultancy Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) - India, said: “The entire civil aviation sector is at a breaking point. CAPA expects domestic traffic to decline by over 60% and international traffic by 70-80 % in the financial year 2021. The effect of the workforce is expected to be more than 30% for the whole aviation market. Airlines are estimated to have around 250 excess aircraft in the current financial year. We predict that the industry will see pre-COVID traffic only by the end of the financial year 2023.

According to the Aviation Administrative Directorate-General of Civil Aviation, domestic air passenger traffic declined by 82.3% in July equivalent to the same month a year before. From January to July, airlines carried a total of 37.28 million passengers, a slump of 54.84% compared to the corresponding period a year ago.

The Ministry of Aviation has restarted domestic flights on a number of major routes, and while planned international flights are still not permitted, it has built bilateral travel bubbles and permitted special repatriation flights both by Indian carriers and foreign airlines to take stuck citizens back home.

At present, the center has authorized just 45% of the capacity utilization on domestic routes. Domestic flights were authorized to resume from May 25th, two months after the blanket suspension had been confirmed since the first shutdown. The Center has prolonged the suspension of international flights until 31 August.

"Traffic predictions would depend entirely on the impacts of Covid-19. Our traffic footfall is steadily climbing every month since the lockdown (ended). As of August 16, there were 947 departure flights carrying 93,639 passengers.

Comparing the figures from July 16, when there were 783 departure flights and 61,772 passengers, there was a substantial increase. We predict it to ramp up considerably over the next two-three months, "said Rajeev Jain, spokesperson of civil aviation.

The Ministry added that greater transparency will emerge in the next few months; and that the future effect of Covid-19 on the aviation sector will depend on the strength, period, and spreading of the viral disease.

As per CRISIL, Indian airlines will face a revenue shortfall of Rs 1.3 lakh crore between 2020 and 2022 leading to a pandemic. According to the International Air Transport Association ( IATA), airlines in the Asia-Pacific region will be the worst affected by the health crisis, with losses estimated to be around $29 billion in 2020. This is more than a third of the $84.3 billion industry losses worldwide.

For India alone, IATA predicted passenger demand to decline by 49% in 2020 compared to last year. A total of 3 million workers may have a potential impact on employment in the aviation industry and the sectors that depend on it.

A Positive Note:

In the outbreak of coronavirus, Aviation with its emphasis on safety, can be a very challenging environment for new ideas.

But Aviation is an industry full of careful intelligence, and taking grand moves in a successive manner. This is going to be the new normal, so we have to be prepared. No matter how complex things are right now, but steadily, will take change and create the things in the most advanced manner. All is made of humans. So, while struggling with the circumstances, we can change the scenario with due care and diligence.

Virus may come, Virus may go, but the move remains forever.

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