Thursday, November 25, 2021

India's jet fuel demand revives after being decimated by COVID-19

India's jet fuel demand is ready for take-off as the country plans to open its doors to international tourists and forms more air travel bubbles, while domestic travel has surged as the local COVID-19 situation has mostly stabilized, with the total number of doses administered in the world's second most populous country crossing 1 billion.

Register Now According to the latest data from India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation, or DGCA, passengers carried by domestic airlines in October rose 70.46% month on month and those carried during January-October registered an annual growth of 25.88%.

"October was the peak holiday season for India. So, there has been an increase in domestic travel," a trader based in Singapore said.

"There were various lockdown and COVID-19 restrictions in India last year. So, I would expect that as soon as people can travel, they would," he added.

This also resonates with a survey commissioned by IATA of 4,700 respondents in 11 markets including India in September. The survey demonstrated confidence that the risks of COVID-19 can be effectively managed and that the freedom to travel should be restored, IATA said in a statement on Oct. 5.

"People want to travel. 86% expect to be traveling within six months of the crisis ending," Willie Walsh, IATA's director general said that time.

"With COVID-19 becoming endemic, vaccines being widely available and therapeutics improving rapidly, we are quickly approaching that point in time," Walsh added.

Although India's DGCA in its latest circular on Oct. 29 said the suspension of scheduled international commercial passenger flights to or from India had been extended till Nov. 30, it noted that international travel may be allowed on select routes by the authorities on a case-to-case basis.

This move aligns with its intention of relaxing restrictions, sources said.

Singapore and India, for example, have already made some headway in this regard. On Nov. 21, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said it had reached an agreement with the Ministry of Civil Aviation of India on the resumption of scheduled commercial passenger flights between Singapore and India.

This will facilitate quarantine-free travel on the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) from India to Singapore, which will start from Nov. 29, with six designated VTL flights daily from Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai.

25/11/21 Surabhi Sahu, Amy Tan, Ratnajyoti Dutta/S&P Global

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