Friday, January 22, 2021

Vaccine to Vacation: Inoculation drive to pump up airline sector

New Delhi: India's aviation sector is set to become a major beneficiary of the massive anti-Covid vaccination programme which has re-ignited the confidence of the travellers.

Market insiders have cited that the commencement of the inoculation drive has raised travellers' optimism, which will not only boost air travel, but also the entire hospitality value chain.

Consequently, industry players like ixigo have seen a surge in demand and search queries.

"We are already seeing a renewed sense of optimism among the travellers in the wake of the vaccine roll-out. Demand and search queries for travel are slowly increasing, while domestic travel is on the road to a strong recovery," said Rajnish Kumar, Co-founder and CTO, ixigo.

"On the international front, we are still at 40 per cent of pre-Covid range in terms of bookings due to the current country restrictions. A widespread and effective distribution of the vaccine will be critical to get the international travel numbers back to normal," he added.

India launched the biggest vaccination drive in the world on January 16. The programme is backed up by the country's comparative advantage of having the largest vaccine manufacturing capacity in the world and a rich experience of mass inoculation drives against polio and measles.

"The pick up in leisure as well as business travel is dependent on the improvement in consumer sentiments, which in turn is dependent on the wide availability of a vaccine," said Kinjal Shah, Vice President, ICRA.

India's airline industry was heavily battered by the pandemic's onslaught. It is now gearing up to deploy 100 per cent of the pre-Covid capacity.

22/01/21 Rohit Vaid/IANS/Daijiworld

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