India’s air passenger growth to contract 20-25% in FY21: Report

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    New Delhi, April 2 (IANS) Passenger growth in the Indian aviation industry is likely to contract 20-25 per cent in financial year 2020-21, according to a CARE Ratings report.

    The report noted that the aviation industry which has been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, may not fully recover any time soon after the pandemic is over.

    “Going forward, there seems to be turbulence and stormy clouds for the Indian aviation industry as airlines will be operating on sub-par capacity which will result in low ticket booking, fall in revenues and low passenger load factor (PLF). Passenger growth of airlines is to fall sharply and register a negative 20-25 per cent growth for FY21,” it said.

    During FY 2018-19, passenger growth was 13.7 per cent and 3.7 per cent during FY 2019-20 (April-February).

    According to the report, even post the lifting of the nation-wide lockdown passenger growth will face a sharp contraction considering the inhibitions of travelling anywhere till the pandemic scare has been settled fully in the domestic regions and internationally. especially on certain routes.

    It said that with most of the countries going under lockdown and banning or imposing restriction on entry of foreign nationals, airline carriers world over are mulling their options due to lack of demand and are grounding their fleet due to which the aviation industry is in a fragile financial position.

    Even with the containment of the virus, countries will not freely issue visas fearing the rise of any exigency with the entry of foreign nationals, it said.

    Given the fall in airline operations, airports are likely to operate at less than 20 per cent capacity for the month of April and less than 50 per cent till June.

    “Decline of anywhere between 8-15 per cent is expected for passengers handled (domestic and international) by airports,” it added.