Wednesday, February 17, 2021

IIMB hosts International Conference on Future of Aviation and Aerospace

Bengaluru: Eminent speaker focused on the silver lining of the pandemic – recovery and growth in the sector in India, and opportunities for growth and collaboration.
In their opening remarks at the International Conference on the Future of Aviation and Aerospace, hosted in virtual mode by IIM Bangalore’s Office of Executive Education Programmes this morning, a galaxy of eminent speakers Professor Rishikesha T Krishnan, Professor of Strategy and Director, IIM Bangalore, said: “I am a long-time student of aviation and have been involved in aviation-related research studies. In 2008, I wrote a case study on the Indian aviation industry which was going through interesting times. Recently, I tried to update that case to 2019. This exercise proved to be sobering – as none of the entrants of the first wave of liberalisation of the sector are no longer in existence. This tells us that the airline industry was, is and continues to be a very challenging industry to operate in. It is only due to the support of governments that they are able to keep their heads above water. However, it is interesting to see that demand exists in a big way.”  
In India, Professor Rishikesha Krishnan pointed out, there has been a gradual recovery in demand post the pandemic. “It is up to the airlines and the industry to find ways to operate sustainably and successfully. Among the bright spots, in India, are the initiatives of the government to connect small towns in different parts of India to big cities. Fractional ownership is a new concept that is also interesting. Safety, by and large, is under control. Challenges include infrastructure, alternate fuel and climate change. In India, there are other aspects like manufacturing. Thanks to government programmes, we are seeing increasing interest in the aircraft manufacturing business. The new defence export policy is also a bright spot,” he added, offering a special word of thanks to Dr Kota Harinarayana, whom he described as “father of the light combat aircraft in India”. 
Welcoming the delegates, Professor S Raghunath, Programme Director For the General Management Programme For Aviation and Aerospace, IIM Bangalore, and Conference Chair, talked about how the improvement in cargo revenue will not necessarily make up for the loss in passenger revenue. Given the semi-fixed nature of many airlines costs, there will be a challenge in terms of cash burn and there could be failures amongmedium and smaller airlines unless the government comes in to bail out their debt for equity 
 17/02/21 UNI
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