Sunday, July 05, 2020

Domestic airlines may need USD 3-3.5 bn funding amid travel demand uncertainty: CAPA

Mumbai: Domestic airlines, excluding IndiGo, may require funding requirements to the tune of USD 3-3.5 billion, with travel demand likely to remain subdued until the September quarter and no certainty of revival in the second half, aviation consultancy CAPA said in a report on Friday.

The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) had in late April said that Indian airlines, excluding IndiGo, will need to raise a minimum of USD 2.5 billion to survive the temporary grounding of the operations due to the lockdown imposed to contain COVID-19 spread.

Stating that the demand-related risks are much higher than its earlier estimates, CAPA said the outlook remains “soft” as the recent traffic (after the resumption of domestic services from May 25) mostly comprised those passengers that were stuck in the “wrong” place at the time of imposition of lockdown on March 25, and started returning to their home base.
“Our earlier funding estimate proved to be conservative. Revised requirements are now likely to be in the range of USD 3-3.5 billion,” CAPA said in the report.

On the fund requirements for IndiGo, which it had earlier not quantified, CAPA said, “IndiGo is likely to raise USD 400-650 millions by monetising its aircraft and engine assets.”

Estimating the April-June losses of the Indian airlines at around USD 1.50-1.75 billion, it said that although some moderation in losses is likely due to waiver and deferrals of lease rentals and supplementary leases, salary cuts and staff being sent on leave without pay.
According to the report, domestic traffic is estimated to have reached only around 2.5 million passengers compared with 34 million for the same period last year, while the scheduled international operations remained grounded for the entire April-June quarter of the fiscal.
The domestic passenger flight services restarted from May 25 after a two months hiatus due to the lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The international operations, however, remained suspended since March 22 for similar reasons. The government on Friday extended the suspension of scheduled international flights till July 30. It, however, said that some international scheduled routes may be permitted on a case-to-case basis.
04/07/20 PTI/Indian Express
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