Silver lining: Indian aviation industry to recover faster due to size of market

TD Editor

The civil aviation sector, one of the worst-affected industries, is gradually limping back to normalcy after the Centre allowed domestic flights to resume, industry experts said. Domestic flight operations resumed starting 25 May, after having remained suspended for around two months in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking during the webinar ‘COVID- 19 Impact and Opportunities’ for the civil aviation sector, organised by ASSOCHAM, Sanjay Kumar, chief strategy and revenue officer of IndiGo said that although the coronavirus pandemic had a huge impact on the industry, certain segments will help it recover faster. “I believe there is a silver lining in the cargo segment which is just a percentage lower than what it was in the pre-COVID times. The revenue from cargo has not been much affected despite the lockdown. Domestic travel is allowed on a 60 per cent capacity,” he said.

The situation at present is not the same as it was in the initial days of the COVID-19 lockdown, he said. “We haven’t reached the pre-COVID levels yet but we are improving. There are several segments that are offering good opportunities. Chartered air flights, too, are offering great support,” Kumar added.

According to Remi Maillard, president of Airbus India, opening up the domestic sector in a phased manner would help in reviving the sector. “While Indian airlines are suffering losses, the situation is not different in other countries. Passengers have to be told that travel by airlines is the safest form of travel today. Once they get in the confidence, then recovery is possible,” he said.

Maillard also said that recovery in India would be much faster in comparison to other countries due to the size of the market. “The revival will at least take a year and the domestic market should be the focus right now. Regional connectivity is of utmost importance right now,” he said.

Satyendra Kumar Mishra, joint secretary of Ministry of Civil Aviation during the webinar said that government in a calibrated manner has opened up the aviation sector from 35% to almost 60% now and more relaxations will be provided as the situation improves.

(Source: Money Control News)

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