Decoding the decline in air travel demand; here’s what aviation experts have to say

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Updated: Jun 11, 2020 12:55 PM

Air travel, which was resumed from May 25 after being suspended for two months, is witnessing a decline in demand as people seem to be confused over different state guidelines for travelling.

Big relief for air traveler! government orders Airline to give full refund to passenger booked ticket during first phase of lockdown for travel up to May 3 amid covid19 outbreakGoing forward, it is likely that a new demand may come from those who want to travel to visit their friends and relatives.

Air travel, which was resumed from May 25 after being suspended for two months, is witnessing a decline in demand as people seem to be confused over different state guidelines for travelling. This confusion and uncertainty is leading to a decline in the number of travellers, the IE reported. It said that cancellations have increased, especially in the cases of business travellers. Citing Ronojoy Dutta, CEO, Indigo, the report said that with different guidelines across the states, people are confused which further led to dampening in demand.

It is to note that after domestic travel was given a go-ahead in India last month, for a few days initially, the demand had come from those who wanted to travel back to their states or were in exigent situations. Director and CEO of consultancy firm CAPA South Asia, Kapil Kaul told the IE that demand fell mainly over the confusion in resumption, different quarantine norms across the states along with the fear of being infected from Coronavirus as the number of positive cases has escalated in the country.

The report explained that the norms of quarantining people upon travelling have become stringent in many states like- Goa, Delhi and Karnataka. As the COVID-19 statistics change, states have been revising travel guidelines in a bid to curb Coronavirus transmission. Notable, someone who wants to travel to another state for a two-day business trip, will avoid that trip as travelling for two day will still ask for a mandatory quarantine varying from 7 to 14 days. This is also the reason a lot of those who travel for business purposes are cancelling their tickets, the report said.

Going forward, it is likely that a new demand may come from those who want to travel to visit their friends and relatives (usually known as VFR category). Moreover, the report highlighted that the demand may come from business travel which again is subjected to some revival in the economy. However, the demand still depends on COVID-19 curve in India and will increase if the infection growth rate flattens.

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