air travel: India is a key aviation market, likely to see strong demand for air travel, according to IATA

India is an important air market for Asia-Pacific and the rest of the world and is expected to see strong demand for air travel, international airline association IATA said on Tuesday as domestic air traffic in the country edged closer. pre-COVID levels.

India’s aviation industry, which has been badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, is now on the road to recovery, and airlines are hiring employees and opening new routes to meet growing travel demand.

On October 9, the number of domestic air travelers reached 4 lakh per day, approaching pre-COVID levels. Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the trend a “great sign” on Tuesday.

In terms of passengers, aircraft and airports, India’s civil aviation industry is poised for unprecedented expansion. By 2027, the country is expected to have 40 million passengers flying domestically and internationally, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said.

In an online briefing on Tuesday, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Asia Pacific, Philip Goh, said the Indian market is a “very important market and is already a massive contributor to some parts of the world.” .

“I can see many airlines starting up, resuming or expanding their network to India. Certainly, a key market (India) for the region and the rest of the world,” he said.

According to him, the Indian market is huge and the demand should be quite robust as long as the economy of flights within and outside India does not change drastically.

“India as a market has unique factors like very high fuel prices because of taxes…but we expect India to be robust in terms of demand,” he added. .

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) represents about 290 airlines worldwide, including those from India.

On Monday, Scindia said the civil aviation sector was on course for full recovery.

“Indian civil aviation has not only hit the 4,000 passenger per day mark, but also reached the highest number ever recorded since the pre-Covid 19 era! Well done,” he tweeted.

Alongside Scindia’s tweet, Modi on Tuesday tweeted, saying, “Good sign. Our aim is to further improve connectivity across India, which is important for ‘ease of living’ and economic progress.” .

The country’s domestic air traffic is expected to have reached around 1.03 crore in September, compared to 1.01 crore reported in August, according to rating agency ICRA on Tuesday.

Last month’s figure is around 46% higher than domestic passenger traffic in September 2021, but around 10% lower than pre-COVID levels, i.e. September 2019, according to the rating agency.

Regarding the overall aviation market in the Asia-Pacific region, IATA’s Philip Goh said momentum is strong even though there is an impact from restrictions in China.

There are economic headwinds for airlines with a tight labor market and high jet fuel prices. Additionally, geopolitical issues and inflation are impacting traveler confidence and demand, he noted.

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