Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Indian aviation buoyed by new entrants, clear skies anticipated ahead

By Vijay Grover

IADB: Pandemic impact on India’s aviation sector finally seems to be descending, with the Indian skies anticipating some new wings to take on the Indian skies. Indian aviation is seeing the rising interest of investors who are looking at the developments avidly.

While one Air India, the debt-laden national carrier, is awaiting Green Signal from the Government of India, another old horse airline Jet Airways is working out its revival plan, so as to return to the skies. Jet Airways which stopped flying in April 2019 plans to resume operations in the first quarter of 2022.

While the Tatas’ are all set for getting Air India into their corporate stable, a consortium of London-based Kalrock Capital and UAE-based businessman Murari Lal Jalan are planning for the Jet Airways revival.

Apart from revival of the two airlines , India is excited about the launch of “ultra low-cost carrier” called Akasa Air , which is preparing to start it’s operations in the first half of 2022. Akasa is all set for a take off with former Jet Airways chief executive Vinay Dube in command and backed by billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala.

The sector is full of zest about the announcement of resumption of air routes with some more countries in the coming future. It may be recalled that following the pandemic, India has operational air routes with 18 countries. While the number of countries with bilateral travel agreements is likely to increase in coming weeks, IADB learns that several Asian countries are coming forward to remove restrictions on travellers from India. The move could give a boost to the Indian airline companies like Indigo , Jet Airways and Air India which have international route approvals in place.

The increase in domestic traffic is giving confidence to the airline sector. August 2021 saw over 6.70 million passengers take to the skies , an over 32% rise compared to the 5 million mark achieved in July 2021. The month of September 2021 saw an average of 2.3 lac passengers flying everyday to domestic sectors. Which works out to an estimated 7.1 million passengers in September 2021.

With the lifting of Covid related restrictions , and the coming festivity around the corners the Indian airline companies look to better passenger load factor in the coming few months.

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