Sunday, March 22, 2020

India's ailing aviation industry hits air pocket

India's aviation industry had been tipped to become the third largest air passenger market by 2024 with demand growing by double digits in recent years but the high-flying times are fast coming to an end.

Domestic passenger growth fell to just 3.74 per cent last year, compared with 18.6 per cent in 2018, figures that have cast a gloomy outlook on a sector that had become habituated to dizzying growth.

An ominous sign came when Jet Airways, the country's largest international and second largest domestic carrier, went belly up last April. Since then, demand for air travel has been tepid because of a slowdown in the Indian economy.
Intense competition between the airlines, despite strained balance sheets and little liquidity, has not helped either.

Now a downturn precipitated by the coronavirus pandemic threatens to send the ailing industry into a tailspin. A new report last week from the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation India (Capa India) said the country's aviation industry could see a fall of around 50 per cent in domestic air travel demand in the next six to eight weeks.
22/03/20 Straits Times
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