The International Air Transport Association (IATA) surveyed more than 50% of people from New Delhi during June. The survey revealed that the respondents will wait for another five to six months before flying, as the ongoing pandemic has claimed thousands of lives worldwide, Amitabh Khosla, IATA’s country director for India, said on Thursday.
Airlines struggle to fill the seats
However, 90% of the respondents will fly again in the next one year according to the survey, Khosla said at a webinar hosted by aerospace major Boeing Corp. “The challenge is to restore confidence in air travel and confidence to plan travel. This will take time to re-build,” Khosla said. Indian airlines, which resumed domestic air services from 25 May, couldn’t fill seats in the last seven days of the month, even though they are operating at 20%-25% of their total capacity.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented crisis for the aviation industry. The recovery from this crisis can happen only by restoring public confidence in the health and safety of flying,”, which operates New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, at the webinar.
Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, chief executive of Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), stated, “The new mitigation measures introduced at airports concerning sanitization, cleanliness, hygiene and social distancing, as well as health screening procedures on departure and arrival have significantly reposed confidence amongst the flyers.”
9.4 million people have been affected by COVID-19 infection worldwide while 482,805 people have succumbed to the virus, reported John Hopkins university’s coronavirus tracker. India has reported 186, 514 active COVID-19 cases, while 14,894 people have succumbed to the infection, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) data.
Aviation remains one of the safest modes of transport amidst the ongoing pandemic
Passenger confidence in air travel needs to be reinforced, said Pradeep Panicker, chief executive of GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited, which operates the city’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport.
“We are partnering with airlines, Ministry of Civil Aviation, DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation), and the industry to create a multi-layered approach focused on keeping passengers and airline crews healthy. Having consistent, industry-recognized safety standards and protocols will be an important part of recovery as travel resumes,” said Salil Gupte, president of Boeing India.