Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Clouds get thicker over aviation sector; passenger traffic to fall more rapidly than earlier estimates

The dark days of India’s aviation sector, with all its planes grounded, are expected to prolong in the current fiscal. It is estimated that the airlines passenger traffic may contract up to 30 per cent in the current fiscal, said a report by Care Ratings. The contraction in airlines traffic was earlier estimated at 20-25 per cent, which has now worsened due to a rapid increase in Covid-19 cases and anticipation that the lockdown may continue for some time. Passenger growth has been 13.7 per cent during FY19 and 3.7 per cent during FY20 (till February). The aviation sector is severely hit by the travel restrictions imposed to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

With the rapid spread of Covid-19 and with more undetected clusters getting converted into corona hotspots, the tenacity of the end of the pandemic is uncertain and is showing no signs of abating, added Care Ratings. The report also predicted that the lockdown which is supposed to end by 3 May 2020 is most likely to get extended as the number of cases is on the rise and certain states are unable to flatten the curve of transmission.
Adding to the airlines’ woes, the metros that account for more than half of the passengers are the worst affected by the pandemic. In the 10 months last year, Delhi Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad airports accounted for 63 per cent of the passengers handled, the report added. While the manufacturing sector and other services are waiting for the lockdown to be lifted t kickstart their operations, the aviation sector has low hopes even after that. The reason being inhibitions of travelling till the pandemic scare has been settled fully in the domestic regions and internationally especially on certain routes.
21/04/20 Samrat Sharma/Financial Express
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