Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Airlines Prepare to Deploy More Flights, Increase Hiring as Passengers Traffic Rises in India

Rising passenger numbers have lifted the prospects of India's Covid battered airline sector, as industry players rush to augment capacity, increase hiring and scale up operations. In terms of numbers, the domestic passenger traffic has gradually risen from 30,000 on May 25 to 2.52 lakh on November 30. The Centre has allowed airlines to deploy up to 80 per cent of their pre-Covid flight capacity.

Besides, the capacity augmentation has also lifted the stock prices of listed airlines. The sector was heavily dented by Covid-19 outbreak and the subsequent lockdown as passenger air services were suspended from March 25 till May 25.

Asked about the readiness to deploy more capacity, Willy Boulter, Chief Commercial Officer of IndiGo, said: "We are certainly ready and preparing to deploy 80 per cent of our previous capacity in the domestic market."

"We look forward to getting back to 100 per cent in due course, early in 2021. So far demand has been robust and we believe it will continue to grow steadily. We remain very confident in the longer term future of Indian aviation."

Recently, the airline major resumed operating 1,000 daily flights.

These flights are to and from 59 domestic and six international destinations. They include scheduled commercial operations and air bubble flights.

Similarly, a senior Vistara official said: "We are already at close to 70 per cent and working towards the 80 per cent mark, subject to slot approvals from various airports."

In October, all major airlines reported a higher PLF level than 60 per cent with SpiceJet and IndiGo at 74 per cent and 68 per cent, respectively.

The monthly domestic passenger traffic has steadily increased from only 19.8 lakh in June 2020 to 52.71 lakh in October 2020.

On the hiring prospects of the industry, Kinjal Shah, Vice President, ICRA, said : "They do have the capacity and some airlines were already prepared to increase capacity when government permits it."

08/12/20 IANS/News18.com

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