The Indian airline industry is struggling to survive amid the outbreak of Covid-19. It is predicted that most of the world airlines will become bankrupt by the end of May 2020. Considering such a devastating impact, the Board of Airline representatives in India have written to the secretary of Ministry of Civil Aviation, appealing for a 30 per cent reduction of aeronautical charges for at least 6 months. This will facilitate the smooth running of the airline industry, stated by the board.
“Forward bookings are far outweighed by cancellations, and each time there is a new government recommendation, it is to discourage flying. Demand is drying up in completely unprecedented ways. Normality is not yet on the horizon,” stated an aviation industry expert.
Earlier last week, Airport council organisation had written to Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri appealing for the same waiver, “The direct pressure on airport operating expenditure would simply be unbearable to maintain current staffing and service levels.
Airports must also continue to meet their capital expenses obligations as they remain characterized by predominantly high fixed costs necessary for maintaining and operating the infrastructure components of the airport, such as runways, taxiways, aprons, parking stands, and terminal buildings. Unlike aircraft, these are not movable assets,” stated the letter.
Air India, which is already struggling with massive debt, had been carrying out the crucial evacuation of Indian citizens from Wuhan and Milan. Such efforts have been lauded by many, but realistically, the government hasn’t been able to find any bidder for the Maharaja. Citing the generous and brave efforts put in by the Air India crew, India Commercial Pilots' Association & Indian Pilots' Guild has written to Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri over 'urgent aid to Air India.'
The letter states, "Air India employees have gone above and beyond to get our countrymen back from COVID19 affected countries worldwide".To avoid the technical bankruptcy of the airlines, these concerns raised, are being looked into by the Ministry. No official word has been communicated but the need to screen through all the alternatives is of high priority currently. Along with the aviation industry, other industries will also bear the brunt of the Coronavirus pandemic.