NEW DELHI: India’s civil aviation recovery would be much faster on the back of large market size, Airbus India President Remi Mail lard said on Saturday.
Speaking at Assocham’s webinar on ‘Covid-19 Impact and Opportunities’ for the civil aviation sector, he said: “The revival will at least take a year and the domestic market should be the focus right now. Regional connectivity is of utmost importance right now.”
According to Maillard, opening up of the domestic sector in a phased manner would help in reviving the industry.
“While the Indian airline companies are suffering losses, the situation is not different in other countries. Passengers have to be told that travel by airlines is the safest form of travel today. Once they get the confidence, recovery is possible,” he said.
The aviation sector is one of the worst impacted industries by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Other panelists at the webinar pointed out that the sector is limping back to recovery due to the opening up of the domestic flights and cargo services.
“I believe there is a silver lining in cargo segment which is just a percentage lower than what it was in the pre-Covid times,” IndiGo’s Chief Strategy and Revenue Officer Sanjay Kumar said at the webinar.
“The revenue from cargo has not been much affected despite the lockdown. Domestic travel is allowed on a 60 per cent capacity. But I think it is slowly and steadily changing,” he added.
Besides, Kumar cited that the current situation is not the same as it was in the initial days of the lockdown.
“We haven’t reached the pre-Covid situation yet but we are improving. There are several segments that are offering good opportunities. Chartered flights too are offering great support,” he said.
International Air Transport Association’s Country Director Amitabh Khosla explained that 2020 has been the worst year for the aviation industry with losses mounting to billions of dollars.
“The revenue for the aviation sector in 2019 was almost around $838 billion which has come down to $419 billion this year. Revenue for the industry has been cut by almost 50 per cent. Many airline companies globally have also filed for bankruptcy protection,” he said.
In addition, Khosla explained that the impact on the aviation sector has a cascading impact on other sectors as well.
“The negative impact on the civil aviation sector has an impact on sectors like hotels, hospitality and tourism. It also has an impact on the job opportunities. We believe that the recovery in the sector would happen only around the year 2024,” he said.