Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Time for hard decisions

Of all the spheres of the economy at the end of NDA-1, aviation was one sector that was shining in terms of double-digit growth in passenger traffic for many years.

But that too had taken a bit of a beating towards the end, reflecting the adverse growth in the general economy. It would be instructive to remember that the aviation sector is a very high multiplier of both economic growth and employment and any downturn would impact the economy itself.

However, schemes like Regional Connectivity 2017, along with existing Group Dispersal Guidelines and the proposed International Connectivity Schemes will certainly give a fillip to the economy.
On the flip side, however, is the unfortunate decline and fall of Jet Airways, which had taken over the mantle of Air India as the country’s leading airline, both domestically and internationally.

Airlines constitute the heart of the aviation sector, without which airports and other allied sectors such as ground handling and tourism cannot thrive.

After Air India’s Rs 50,000 crore-plus debt, Kingfisher Airlines’ over Rs 14,000 crore and Jet Airways’ debt that is in excess of Rs 10,000 crore, the aviation sector appears to be in a financial mess.
12/06/19 Sanat Kaul/DNA

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