India’s otherwise flourishing aviation sector is presently growing through a rough patch with low flight availability, unusually high fares and delays and cancellations becoming frequent.
The crisis with Jet Airways one of India’s biggest budget airline, grounding of Boeing 737 MAX- 8 planes by domestic operators and the ongoing repair work at the Mumbai Airport are some of the major factors hurting India’s aviation sector. The negative effects of this could carry over to the tourism and hospitality industry as well, India’s monthly air passenger growth has plunged steadily for 3 months currently standing at 7.42 % in February down from a very healthy 20% in October. Aircraft fleets of domestic carriers have fallen sharply by 16% between December 2018 and now. Jet Airways is undergoing restructuring hence operating at one fifth of its capacity ie 26 planes. SpiceJet had to ground 13 Boeing 737 MAX- 8 in March as the DGCA prohibited flying these planes following the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight which killed 149 people. To make matters worse the country’s second biggest airport Mumbai International Airport is currently undergoing a 22 day repair and renovation work due to which it is operating at below capacity. The tourism and hospitality industry may feel the crunch due to this slowing down in the aviation sector as well.