Back to square one: airlines stare at huge losses as traffic crashes amid second wave of the pandemic

Aircrafts standing at Terminal 3 at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, as the country relaxed its lockdown restrictions on May 26, 2020 in Delhi, India.


India’s civil aviation industry, which used to fly around four lakh passengers per day before the pandemic, had recorded almost zero traffic during the lockdown before starting a gradual recovery. But the coronavirus has returned to unsettle the sector. As airlines brace for tough times, the industry seems to be ripe for consolidation as weaker players struggle to stay afloat.

Around the same time last year, as planes were gathering dust at airports after India’s civil aviation came to a halt with the imposition of a countrywide lockdown, a domestic broking firm had put out a research report with a comforting message. Titled Andrà tutto bene — the Italian phrase which means “everything is going to be alright” — the report forecast that the aviation industry would stage a smart bounceback fuelled by ‘revenge travel’

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