AAI estimates full passenger recovery by the end of FY23


Nearly 19,200 jobs lost at airlines, airports, cargo and ground handling companies during Covid-19: MoS Singh

Nearly 19,200 jobs lost at airlines, airports, cargo and ground handling companies during Covid-19: MoS Singh

The total number of domestic and international passengers at Indian airports could return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of fiscal 2023, according to a forecast by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

In fiscal year 2020, various airports recorded a total of 34.1 million passengers. During the pandemic, those numbers fell nearly 66% to 11.5 million passengers in FY21.

The AAI estimated a total of 19.9 crore passengers for this fiscal year. Its forecast shows traffic could be near pre-pandemic levels by the end of FY23, reaching 33.8 million – 99.1% of FY2020 passenger numbers. As of March 27, India also has the restrictions on international Flights suspended allowing airlines to plan flight operations at pre-pandemic levels. This information was provided by Minister of State for Civil Aviation VK Singh in Rajya Sabha.

According to the AAI, passenger numbers at various Indian airports could increase to 44.8 million by FY25 compared to 34.1 million in FY20.

Rating agency ICRA estimates that total passenger traffic (international and domestic) could increase by 68-70% to 31.7-32 million by the end of FY23. While domestic passenger traffic is expected to reach pre-pandemic levels in the next fiscal year after growing 64-66%, international traffic will increase by 100-105% but will not reach pre-pandemic levels until 2024, assuming the impact of future Covid waves are low, ICRA said.

“Although operational profitability is expected to improve sequentially in fiscal 2023 to 29-30% from 18-19% in fiscal 2022, it will likely still remain below pre-Covid-19 levels of 40%, with a full recovery not likely until fiscal 2024,” said Rajeshwar Burla, Group Leader, Corporate Ratings, ICRA.

Minister Singh also told Parliament that nearly 19,200 airline, airport, ground-handling and air-cargo workers have lost their jobs during the pandemic; this accounted for 10% of the total 1.9 lakh jobs in these sectors.

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