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How Indian Aviation Will Change in the New Year

India passenger traffic shows sharp recovery

by Ajay Prakash

The Indian aviation industry is all set to start the new year on a promising note. With the worst of the pandemic behind us, many new good things are in store for travellers.

Holiday Traffic Rebounds in India

There has been a steady recovery of passenger traffic in the domestic sectors. With the holiday season starting, monthly passenger figures will cross the 10 million mark very soon. Once the remaining traffic curbs are lifted, we should see the monthly traffic reach 12 million, which is the pre-COVID figure.

India Aviation Domestic Passenger traffic data

India aviation domestic passenger traffic data – Source DGCA monthly reports

All That Will Be Different in 2022

We will see Tata’s dominate the full-service flight segments within the country. Vistara, Air India, and Air Asia will swiftly regain this space as there is no competition.

Jet Airways’s return to the skies has been delayed, but we expect the airline to restart operations by March 2022. All legal formalities have been cleared, and the new management is finalising the aircraft deals.

Indigo Airlines will continue to dominate the Indian skies. Its market share stood at 57.1% by the end of September 2021, with Air India, its closest competitor having a market share of 12.8% during the same period. However, Indigo declared a stand-alone loss of INR 1440 crores (USD 192 million) for the quarter ending September (Q2FY22). The loss has reduced by half over the previous quarter (Q1FY22), which stood at INR 3180 Crores (USD 424 million).

Indigo has been adding new routes every week and increasing frequencies to its existing routes. The airline has almost four hundred new aircraft on order, fifty of which are expected to join the fleet in 2022.

Indian Start-Up Airlines

Akasa Air Livery

Akasa Air livery Photo ©

Akasa Air, India’s newest startup airline will be eagerly awaited. Akasa Air is an upcoming ultra low-cost Indian airline co-founded by billionaire and stocks trader Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and former Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube. The airline’s managers are currently finalising the aircraft type to be used. Akasa Air may start operations by mid-2022.

Regional Connectivity

Under the Regional Connectivity plan, more than a hundred new airports will become operational in the next couple of years. Flights have already started to cities including Bareilly, Kanpur, Sholapur, Nanded, and Kurnool.

The industry is all set to recover its losses of the past two years with 2022 promising to be exciting and a travellers’ market. The good days have just started!

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