It is apparent that the Indian aviation industry is witnessing a substantial improvement after the pandemic-related commotion. On October 9, domestic airlines navigated more than 300,000 patrons for the first time after February 2021.
This might not be similar to the numbers we were accustomed to in the pre-pandemic era (350,000 daily passengers), but it is much better than we had in October 2020. This figure also proves that things are getting better for the aviation sector.
Dominant airports like Indira Gandhi International Airport and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport have observed huge masses and long lines since October. This perfectly symbolises the return of air travel in India. The country’s two biggest airports, Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai, are reopening terminals that were shut earlier due to the downward movement of people.
Keeping in mind the forthcoming festival season, the Indian government had approved airlines to operate at 100% capacity from 18th October. Before 18th October, this limit was set to 85%.
Data from the Indian aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) reveals that the average load factor of major airlines was 70% in August. India’s biggest airline, IndiGo, stated its current load factor was at 75-80%. It is flying 1,200 flights every day, which is approximately 80% of its pre-pandemic capacity.
India, too, is re-opening its borders for tourists after 18 months. The Indian government will start assigning fresh tourist visas from October 15th to travellers arriving through authorised flights. Passengers can visit India on routine commercial flights from November 15th. Regulations about their Covid testing, quarantine and vaccination are still to be planned out.
In 2019, India had witnessed almost 11 million foreign tourist passengers, which transformed into $30 billion of foreign trade. The Indian government had decided to give out visas to the first 500,000 travellers free of cost to support the tourism industry.
Significant Step By Tata Industries
The future seems bright for the Indian aviation industry. Tata group has won the bid to acquire Air India, our national carrier and Jet Airways is expected to resume its operation early next year.
Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’s brand new airline, ‘Akasa Air’, received a no-objection certificate from the Indian government on 11th October. Thus, it shall commence its flying operations very soon, boosting our aviation sector.
However, Akasa Air still needs a clearance from the DGCA for additional permissions. Rakesh Jhunjhunwala has joined hands with erstwhile IndiGo President Aditya Ghosh and Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube to establish his low-cost carrier.
It will be very beneficial for Akasa Air to start its flying operations shortly because the demand in the Indian aviation sector has begun to progress in massive amounts, just like the pre-pandemic era.
Meanwhile, a possible challenge for the Indian aviation industry is the elevated price of aviation turbine fuel. Ammunition now contributes to 40% of the total cost of operating an airline in India.
In Chennai, state-run combustible retailers have raised Aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices by 9% in the month of September. Costs were increased up to 83% in 2020 to approximate Rs 74,500 per kilolitre. This increase in the global crude oil prices indicates that the demand in the aviation industry is improving and growing.
Besides, the Indian government’s unwillingness to eliminate fare caps that were in place since May 2021 will also affect the aviation sector’s comeback.
Other Contributions By The Indian Government
The government has also contributed to the aviation industry by imposing flat prices to guard financially weaker airlines during the pandemic. At the same time, the majority of airlines ensured that not overcharge their customers.
Since Indian aviation has started picking up its pace, airlines request the government lift up fare restrictions.
Last month, the government dropped the fare band rule by making it applicable for only 15 days in a month instead of 30 days, which, as a result, may raise the price of flight tickets. This will lead to an increase in competition among the airlines during the festival season.
Nothing can stop the Indian aviation industry from being on the path to enormous developments if the aviation workflow remains smooth, without any sudden rise in the Covid-19 cases.
We hope this article could give you deep insight into how the Indian Aviation industry is getting better day by day.
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