LONDON – Indian airline revenues, according to the Civil Aviation Minister Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri, dropped 85.7% to ₹36,510,000 (US$496,849) during the first quarter of 2020-21 in comparison to the corresponding period a year ago due to COVID-19.
Moreover, the minister said the employee count at airports has reduced from 67,760 on March 31 to 64,514 on July 31.
Situation for Indian Airports, Carriers in Detail
Airline employee count went down from 74,887 on March 31 to 69,589 on July 31, a decrease of 7.07%. Puri stated in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, “The revenue of airport operators has reduced from ₹5,745 crores (approximately US$800,000) during April-June 2019 to Rs 894 crore (US$120,000) during April-June 2020.” A crore equals or stands for one million in common Indian parlance.
In addition, the employee count at ground handling agencies fell by 22.44% to 29,254 in the April-July period, Puri said. The Minister gave information about the impact of COVID-19 on the Indian civil aviation sector, writing that “The revenue of Indian carriers has reduced from ₹25,517 crores during April-June 2019 to ₹3,651 crores during April-June 2020.”
Furthermore, Air India’s (AI) total revenue has reduced from ₹7,066 crores during April-June 2019 to ₹1,531 crores during the first quarter of 2020-21, Puri stated. Finally, regarding India’s domestic air traffic, it fell to 1.2 crores during the March-July period as compared to 5.85 crores in the same period in 2019.
India’s Flights in Numbers
On July 3, DGCA, the Indian Directorate of Civil Aviation, announced the renewal of the blanket ban of all international flights to/from India. Scheduled international flights had been suspended since March 23 due to the COVID-19-triggered lockdown, with only some flights for repatriation and support with PPE are currently operating.
These special international passenger flights have been operating in India under Vande Bharat Mission since May and under bilateral air bubble agreements between India and other countries. Apart from these, international traffic dropped to 11.55 lakh in March-July period as compared to 93.45 lakh in the year-ago period, Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri said.
Finally, on the scheduled domestic flights front, services were suspended in India from March 25 to May 24 due to the lockdown. They were resumed from May 25 but in a curtailed manner.
A quick note for our international readers, a lakh is a unit in the Indian numbering system equal to one hundred thousand.
Featured image: Air India Boeing 777-337ER VT-ALQ. Photo: Nick van der Hook