Monday, January 31, 2022

Economic Survey 2022: Indian aviation on path to gradual recovery; international tourism uncertain

The Indian aviation sector is on the path to gradual recovery from the turbulence caused by the COVID-19 pandemic but international tourism is still uncertain, the Economic Survey 2021-22 said.

The Economic Survey, an annual report card of the economy, is prepared by the Economics division of the finance ministry’s Department of Economic Affairs under the guidance of Chief Economic Adviser.

“With the accelerated pace of vaccine roll-out and easing of travel restrictions globally, Indian aviation sector has started to rebound. Despite the travel restrictions, the total passengers carried in October, 2021 reached 99.58 lakhs which was near 68 percent of the pre-COVID level (146.25 lakh),” the Survey said.

However, the survey has cautioned that there is uncertainty in the international travel market.

“At the time of writing, new restrictions were being introduced worldwide due to the spread Omicron variant of the COVID-19. Thus, the trajectory of tourism sector, especially international tourism remains uncertain,” the Survey said.

India had banned commercial scheduled international passenger flights in March 2020 due to the onset of COVID-19 and since then air travel abroad has taken place via air bubble arrangements and Vande Bharat Mission. India currently has air travel arrangements or transport bubbles with 35 nations. Under the Vande Bharat Mission, which is currently in its 15th phase, over 47,000 inbound and outbound flights have been operated as on December 31, 2021, carrying over 63.55 lakh passengers.

The survey also noted the potential of drones as a sector that can become an important propeller for growth due to their reach, versatility, and ease of use. The sector had received an impetus last year with the liberalized Drone Rules 2021 and the PLI (production-linked incentive) scheme.

“The policy reforms will therefore catalyze super-normal growth in the upcoming drone sector,” the survey said.

31/01/22 Anu Sharma/CNBCTV18

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