Many countries like the US, France, Australia, Singapore, and Oman have put in place restrictions while some other countries like Arab Emirates, Canada, and the UK have banned flights from and to India.
Delay of Vistara’s Long-Haul Plans
Vistara is known as a joint venture between Singapore Airlines and Tata Sons. It had planned to start direct long-haul flights to the US. But now due to the Covid-19 situation, it is bracing for a delay in the launch. A spokesperson said, “The recent spike in Covid-19 cases in India, and resulting restrictions imposed by several major economies on travel to and from India, has delayed Vistara’s long-haul plans by at least a couple of quarters”. The person further added, “When things get normalized, people would want to fly directly to long-haul destinations in North America, Europe, and elsewhere and this would be a great opportunity to start direct long-haul flights”.
Recovery of International Travel- A Major Challenge
The surging number of Covid cases has impacted both domestic and international travel. Due to the second wave of the pandemic, many countries have imposed a ban on flights to and from India. Kinjal Shah, vice-president at ICRA stated that the recovery in international travel will pose a major challenge to the airlines. A senior Air India official said, “The second wave has delayed the recovery in international travel by at least three to four months. If things worsen, more countries could impose restrictions on flights to and from India”.
TPT Policy Advocacy & Recommendations
- India is destroyed by the second wave of the pandemic. And due to the surging cases, many countries have imposed a ban on flights to and from India. For this, the wider economy relying on aviation is at risk. The Aviation Ministry needs to make effective policy designs to alleviate the impact of the pandemic in the airline industry.
- Relief measures must be rolled out by the government as the airline is facing huge crashes due to the ban on both domestic and international flights.