Indian aviation industry will recover faster due to size of the market, says Airbus India president

“We haven't reached the pre-COVID levels yet but we are improving,” said Sanjay Kumar, Chief Strategy and Revenue Officer, Indigo.

Published: Sep 14, 2020
Indian Aviation_SM Image: Shutterstock

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 May 25, 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, 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 percent 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.

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According to Remi Maillard, President - 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, Ministry of Civil Aviation during the webinar said that government in a calibrated manner has opened up the aviation sector from 35 percent to almost 60 percent now and more relaxations will be provided as the situation improves.

“Taking the safety precautions into consideration, we are hopeful that as the situation improves, the sector would be opened up even further,” he said.

The aviation sector is one of the worst impacted industries by the COVID-19 pandemic globally. Most of the airlines have adopted a slew of measures, including layoffs, salary cuts, sending employees on leave without pay, to cut costs.

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