The domestic aviation industry, which reeled through heightened challenges since the onset of Covid-19 pandemic in CY2020, continued its turbulent journey in CY2021, with the resurgence of the second wave in the early part of 2021, informs Suprio Banerjee, Vice President & Sector Head, ICRA.
The year started with sequential growth in domestic passenger traffic in January 2021, with the trend reversing in March 2021, due to the second wave. With declining fresh infections sequential growth was again witnessed in June 2021, which has continued till November 2021. The growth, however, has been much below pre-Covid levels, either on monthly or on a cumulative basis, Banerjee says.
The other challenge which the industry has been facing in CY2021 is rising Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) prices, which as of December 2021, has gone up ~ 67% on a YoY basis. With scheduled international operations, yet to start and domestic passenger recovery still a work-in-progress the Indian aviation industry is estimated to report a net loss of ~Rs. 250-260 billion in FY2022, with recovery in domestic passenger traffic to pre-Covid levels expected only by FY2024.