Thursday, June 11, 2020

Different quarantine norms in states hit air travel demand

New Delhi: Different quarantine rules in various states for incoming passengers has led to “confusion and uncertainty” that has prevented demand for air travel from being fully realised and led to an uptick in cancellations by the few business travellers that airlines are banking on, aviation sector players told The Indian Express.

After the resumption of domestic operations on May 25, following the two-month Covid lockdown break, almost all demand has been from those returning home or flying due to exigent situations. But for other segments, the varied and frequent changes in rules has been a dampener, with IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta stating that “an uncertainty of restrictions” is among reasons that are “hugely dampening for traffic”.

Kapil Kaul, CEO & director at aviation consultancy firm CAPA South Asia, said, “Demand is lower than expected largely due to the confusion and uncertainty at the state level regarding resumption, quarantine rules and continuing escalation in the infections. The expected pent-up demand has not been fully realised largely due to the confusion — which may be settling now.”
States like Goa, Karnataka and Delhi tightened procedures after at least 30 asymptomatic passengers tested positive after landing in several locations across the country in the first seven days since air travel resumed. For instance, Delhi had earlier “advised” home quarantine for 14 days, but later made it “mandatory” for the first seven days. Goa changed its SOP twice. On the other hand, Kerala allows short-term business travel of up to seven days to the state for those who obtain an e-pass.
11/06/20 Pranav Mukul/Indian Express
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