Tuesday, March 08, 2022

India To Resume Regular International Flights, Here's What It Means For Airlines

In a much-needed relief for airlines, scheduled international flight services are set to resume from March 27 after a two-year gap.

The scheduled international flight services have remained suspended in India since March 23, 2020, in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, special international flights have been operating between India and about 35 other countries since July 2020 under air bubble arrangements.

The international flights were to resume in December last year but the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 stalled the process. The flight operations were to start from March 15 but the Russia-Ukraine delayed the process.

The move is also likely to bring relief for passengers as airfares may come down.

For airlines, it’s a much needed relief they will also be able to improve their revenue earned per seat as fares are higher on international sectors compared to domestic routes.

The airlines and airports in India incurred an estimated loss of Rs 19,564 crore and Rs 5,116 crore, respectively, in 2020-21 due to disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Minister of State for Civil Aviation V K Singh had informed Rajya Sabha in December last year. 

The pandemic had brought the aviation sector to a standstill which led to salary cuts and job losses as well. 

Around 7,900 employees in India's aviation sector have lost jobs due to the pandemic in the last one year, Singh informed the Parliament.

"Total number of employees of domestic carriers has declined from around 74,800 as on 31 Mar 2020 to around 66,900 as on 31 Mar 2021, a decline of over 7,900 employees," he said.

08/03/22 Outlook

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