Sunday, December 24, 2017

2017 year in review: Over 10 crore air travellers, 1,000 tech problems and flights per day

There were over 10 crore passengers carried by the domestic airlines in 2017. But that was only in the period January to November, 2017, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) data revealed.

The Indian government has been vocal in promoting air travel within the country. It’s Ude Desh ka Aam Aadmi or UDAN scheme also witnessed its first flight taking off in April, 2017.

“Passengers carried by domestic airlines during Jan-Nov 2017 were 1059.34 lakhs as against 903.36 lakhs during the corresponding period of previous year thereby registering a growth of 17.27%,” DGCA said.
Indian aviation sector also faced a bit of turbulence as aviation fuel went through the highs and lows of pricing. Jet fuel was hiked 8.6% to Rs 52,540.63 per kilolitre in January. Fuel prices have been raised in tandem with global crude oil prices.

Prices averaged around Rs 56,450 per kilolitre for the third quarter, 12.6 percent higher than the year-ago period, a report by Bloomberg said.

The biggest news of all for this sector was the privatisation of the national carrier, Air India. The airline has been in talks with Tata Group that has also shown an interest in the state-run company.

Talks of the airline’s assets being split along with Air India being rumoured to interest buyers from foreign airlines has also been in the air.

Air India, which is nearly Rs 50,000 crore in debt, also tried to stay afloat amidst choppy waters by cancelling non-vegetarian meals in economy class on its domestic flights to ‘reduce wastage’ and costs as well. It has also asked for a loan of Rs 1,100 crore to modify its planes for flying VVIPs.

However, the parliament which is currently in session appeared split in its decision to privatise the national carrier, a report by PTI said on December 11.

This year also witnessed the ‘turnaround’ story for Ajay Singh’s Spicejet. After two and a half years when Spicejet was forced to ground its fleet, the airline became the world’s best performing stock.

Spicejet also placed an order for planes amounting to $26 billion and even became a song of praise by the United States of America’s government, Donald Trump.

Aviation major, IndiGo recently announced that it has begun 1,000 flights per day. “Adding to many firsts to its credit, IndiGo yesterday became the first Indian carrier to operate 1000 plus flights in a day,” the airline said.
24/12/17 ZeeBiz