COVID-19 Impact: India’s Domestic Air Traffic to Fall This Fiscal, Only 90 Million Travelers Expected

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A file photo of Bengaluru airport. (Reuters)

A file photograph of Bengaluru airport. (Reuters)

Domestic air site visitors is anticipated to drop to 80-90 million passengers within the present fiscal and supply of greater than 200 planes to Indian carriers are more likely to be deferred by as much as two years, based on a report.

  • PTI
  • Last Updated: April 7, 2020, 9:56 AM IST

Domestic air site visitors is anticipated to drop to 80-90 million passengers within the present fiscal and supply of greater than 200 planes to Indian carriers are more likely to be deferred by as much as two years, based on a report.

“The combination of COVID-related travel restrictions and an economic downturn is likely to result in 1Q FY2021 being a virtual washout for the Indian industry.

“The second quarter is traditionally the weakest interval for demand and therefore airways are solely more likely to limp again into restoration,” aviation consultancy CAPA India said on Monday.

As a result, CAPA said the majority of the fleet is likely to be surplus to requirement during the first half of the current financial year.

In its report titled ‘COVID-19 & the State of Indian Aviation Industry,’ the aviation consultancy forecast domestic traffic to decline to around 80-90 million this fiscal from an estimated 140 million in FY2020.

International traffic is expected to fall from approximately 70 million in the previous financial year to 35-40 million passengers or may be even less in the current fiscal.

While giving the forecast, CAPA India said it is initial estimate and would be continually revised.

Domestic and international flights have been suspended till April 15 amid nationwide lockdown to curb spreading of coronavirus infections. A gradual path towards normalcy could be expected towards Q3 and Q4, CAPA India said.

According to the report, airlines that are offered concessions by lessors would need to take a strategic call on whether they require all of their aircraft.

The holding costs of maintaining a larger fleet may outweigh the concession available.

More than 200 aircraft — scheduled for delivery over the next couple of years, including 56 MAX aircraft — are likely to be deferred by 1-2 years, it said.

“Starting from the top of April-2020, Indian carriers are initially anticipated to hunt to return as much as 100 plane to lessors, particularly older gear and people that could be nearer to the expiry of their phrases.

“The number of returned aircraft will continue to increase significantly up until September-2020, possibly reaching 200-250, or even higher,” the report stated.

Since plane lessors would have restricted prospects to whom they’ll remarket returned plane, they might be keen to barter short-term rental holidays, CAPA India stated.

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