Reportedly aviation sector is all set to resume operations in india after the Civil Aviation Ministry announced reopening domestic airline services in a phased manner in the country. However, there are several rules that airlines have been asked to follow, both precautionary as well as in terms of pricing. While the government's order to resume operations limited to just one-third of an airline's total flight capacity has been welcomed by the sector, critical challenges lie ahead for India's aviation companies.
Since the lockdown, most airline companies and allied sectors have been completely put out of action and revenues have steeply declined. There have been large-scale furloughs and layoffs at airlines. Many from the sector have asked for a direct relief or an income support scheme to at least support their employees. But experts say the government only announced long term support measures for the sector, which are welcome but not a remedy to the immediate concern.
It may be noted that airlines are resuming operations after almost two months, and some have failed to pay salaries to their employees from pilots to cabin crew and other staff for over two months. Some senior air india pilots, who are a part of airline pilot bodies, penned a letter to the Civil Aviation Ministry to highlight the bulging wage backlog at the national carrier. They said they are now reaching a breaking point, saddened by the fact that they are at the forefront of government’s Covid-19 international rescue operations, but are only getting “lip-service”. airlines are also encountering other charges like maintenance of aeroplanes, even as they stay grounded in the hangers due to the lockdown.