Home International Mumbai : Mumbai Indo Canadian Aviation expert Hemant M shah shares his views , How Indian Air Space crisis will affect indian economy after post Covid19.

Mumbai : Mumbai Indo Canadian Aviation expert Hemant M shah shares his views , How Indian Air Space crisis will affect indian economy after post Covid19.

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Mumbai : Mumbai Indo Canadian  Aviation expert  Hemant M shah shares his  views , How Indian Air Space crisis will affect indian economy after post Covid19.
Third party representative image from Google search.

*Indian Aviation Industry awaits Take Off*
(Financially and metaphorically)
April 30, (revised to reflect latest information Internationally) up
Expected Indian air travel restrictions, in accordance with the latest notifications from the government and subsequent actions by the airlines:

1. Both International and Domestic flights’ suspension has been extended INDEFINITELY by the government. Airlines have been told not to take any bookings, even for flights post May 4, until advised otherwise.

2. However, most airlines will simply collapse without revenues, indefinitely and in the absence of governmental financial support. So, they have decided to open DOMESTIC bookings as follows:
– *SpiceJet* and *GoAir* for flights starting May 16; – *Indigo* and *Vistara* for flights starting June 1. – *Air India* and *Air Asia* have suspended bookings indefinitely as of now.

3. The emerging view is that International flying will be closed at least until June 1 and some say maybe until July. However Indigo and Vistara (and some international airlines) have opened bookings for flights to/from India starting June 1. The others have not yet opened international at all.

4. Flights are expected to resume gradually, in phases. However flights will not operate to/from, or between red zone cities. So no flights to/from, and between Delhi and Bombay, for example, if both are still in the red zone once flights resume.

5. Between non-red zone cities once flight ban is lifted, flights may operate as long as the state governments / national governments on both ends agree to remove the lockdown to allow flights and access to airports.

6. What remains unchanged: No one can enter India from abroad through any means, not even Indian citizens or OCIs who are stuck abroad. However one *hopes* there may be some relaxation for Indian citizens stuck abroad after May 4, but that is starting to look increasingly unlikely.

7. Most countries (India still being a notable exception) are allowing their own citizens to enter. Some countries are still allowing foreigners to enter, including the UK which still seems to be in a complete la-la land in terms of flight restrictions (there aren’t any).

8. Accordingly, foreigners and Indians can still leave India if they want, on the special chartered and repatriation flights being arranged by embassies and sometimes foreign companies. These repatriation flights are not free. They are expensive. Like USD 3000 for one way to the US.

Complete removal of flight restrictions in India not expected until at least June. Probably late June or even July. But even after that, it will take up to a year for flights to get back to somewhat close to (within 70-80% of) earlier levels of activity. Will likely not go back to 100% for a couple of years, until a vaccine is found and fear of the virus is completely eradicated.

The airline industry in India – the existing players – are in an unimaginable crisis. India is the only country where flights are completely grounded, yet there is no government financial aid package. With high costs and taxes and low yields, margins are thin at the best of times. Advance sales revenues are therefore the lifeblood of the industry. With zero revenues, a perishable commodity, and no financial support, many or majority of airlines will simply not survive if this continues the way it is, putting 3 million jobs in India at risk, directly and indirectly. The industry is still treated as a discretionary or luxury spend industry, and not as an essential infrastructure industry. Paradoxically, airports in India are considered essential infrastructure. They are in a state of *Go figure!*
– 🇨🇦 Hemant M Shah Winnipeg Canada.

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