Friday, April 24, 2020

Airports ground handling industry seeks stimulus to mitigate COVID-19 impact

Mumbai: Struggling in the face of the coronavirus outbreak, the domestic ground handling industry has sought stimulus package, including a moratorium on interest on borrowings, waivers on certain fixed costs and deferment of statutory taxes.

The Rs 4,000-4,500 crore ground handling industry, which heavily depends on airline operations, has lost as much as 90 percent of the business amid suspension of all commercial air passenger services due to the lockdown to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

However, cargo and special flights have been kept out from the lockdown.
"I think it is also important for the government to have a very structured approach to such kind of situations. It has to be a balanced economic stimulus to everybody. We haven't got any stimulus except for advisory from the RBI to the banks to help us on a three-month moratorium, which is not enough.
"For a business which is already impacted over a year, we need at least a one-year moratorium on our cost to the banks," Celebi Aviation-India CEO Murali Ramachandran told PTI in an interaction.

Celebi, which commands 25 percent market share of the domestic industry, has the mandate to carry out ground handling business at Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Cochin, Ahmedabad and Kannur airports.
Pointing out that not many businesses can continue paying to their employees with no revenue coming in, Ramachandran said at a point of time it becomes imperative to have some sort of stimulus.
24/04/20 PTI/First Post
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