India's ailing aviation industry hits air pocket

Passengers boarding an IndiGo aircraft at Indira Gandhi International airport in New Delhi. The Indian airline, which has the biggest domestic market share and an enviable profitable run, announced a pay cut for its senior employees last Thursday.
Passengers boarding an IndiGo aircraft at Indira Gandhi International airport in New Delhi. The Indian airline, which has the biggest domestic market share and an enviable profitable run, announced a pay cut for its senior employees last Thursday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Coronavirus piles pressure on industry reeling from tepid travel demand, cash-flow problems

India's aviation industry had been tipped to become the third largest air passenger market by 2024 with demand growing by double digits in recent years but the high-flying times are fast coming to an end.

Domestic passenger growth fell to just 3.74 per cent last year, compared with 18.6 per cent in 2018, figures that have cast a gloomy outlook on a sector that had become habituated to dizzying growth.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 22, 2020, with the headline 'India's ailing aviation industry hits air pocket'. Print Edition | Subscribe