Friday, February 05, 2021

Seeing positive signs, but aviation still in eye of storm: Airbus India

The Indian aviation sector is showing positive signs after being completely shut down during the coronavirus-induced lockdown last year but remains in the "eye of the storm", Rmi Maillard, President and Managing Director, Airbus India and South Asia has said.

Indian airlines are currently carrying 60 per cent of the total pre-COVID domestic passengers and this is better than most countries in the world, he said in an interview to PTI.

"This is better but this is far from being a sustainable situation. We are not out of the woods yet. We are still in the eye of the storm," he added.

Airbus has been observing positive signs such as the pent-up demand for leisure travel in India, he noted.

"I think there is a desire in people to fly again...Business travellers have started to come back. It is essential for your business to meet your business stakeholders or partners and for that, you need to travel,"Maillard mentioned.

"I would say in a nutshell that we are still facing a lot of headwinds with the virus and the complexity of the situation. But in the midterm, I think there will be an upswing," he said.

Airbus and Boeing are two of the largest aircraft manufacturers in the world.

Scheduled domestic flights in India were completely suspended for a period of two months between March 25 and May 24, 2020, due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

Maillard said international passenger traffic is still weak in India and it is difficult to predict how and when it would recover.

Scheduled international flights continue to remain suspended in India since March 23 last year.

However, special international flights have been permitted since May last year under the Vande Bharat Mission and air bubble arrangements formed with around 24 countries.

05/02/21 PTI/Business Standard

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