The aviation sector is ready to resume operations in India after the Civil Aviation Ministry announced reopening domestic airline services during a phased manner within the country. However, there are several rules that airlines are asked to follow, both precautionary also as in terms of pricing.
While the government's order to resume operations — limited to only one-third of an airline's total flight capacity — has been welcomed by the world , critical challenges lie ahead for India's aviation companies.
Since the lockdown, most airline companies and allied sectors are completely put out of action and revenues have steeply declined. There are large-scale furloughs and layoffs at airlines.
Many from the world have asked for an immediate relief or an income support scheme to a minimum of support their employees. But experts say the govt only announced future support measures for the world , which are welcome but not a remedy to the immediate concern.
It may be noted that airlines are resuming operations after almost two months, and a few have did not pay salaries to their employees — from pilots to cabin crew and other staff — for over two months.
Some senior Air India pilots, who are a neighborhood of airline pilot bodies, penned a letter to the Civil Aviation Ministry to spotlight the bulging wage backlog at the national carrier.
They said they're now reaching a verge of collapse , saddened by the very fact that they're at the forefront of government’s Covid-19 international rescue operations, but are only getting “lip-service”.
There are many private airlines where there are deep pay cuts while some others are sent inactive without pay (LWP). Some have kept the damage limited to delayed salaries.
Airlines also are encountering other charges like maintenance of aeroplanes, whilst they stay grounded within the hangers thanks to the lockdown.
Moreover, airports even have to pay airport charges. of these are substantial charges, making it difficult for airlines to get revenue required to run operations, especially because there's a cap on their capacity and therefore the price they will charge from passengers.
The aviation ministry has released an in depth list on prices airlines will need to follow for a few time to guard customers’ interest.
Turbulence not over
Ratings agency ICRA’s vice chairman Kinjal Shah recently told Mail Today that domestic carriers are approximately losing Rs 75-90 crore per day with none operations which their debt level is predicted to rise to Rs 46,500 crore by FY22.
The sheer uncertainty concerning travel and tourism within the post-coved world may significantly dent travel over subsequent few months.
A baron of a web agency told India India Today.in that the aviation sector needs more direct relief from the govt so as to get over the shock. Considering the very fact that it's a critical sector, many hope from some concession from the govt .
In the absence of direct income support, GST relaxation and airport charge reduction, the world might not crumble struggling .
Care Ratings during a recent note questioned the relief measures announced by the govt to support the cash-starved aviation sector. It indicated that the measures are future measures and should not help tackle this crisis.