Boeing India head calls for hike in air fares

March 14th, 2012 - 9:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, March 14 (IANS) A top Boeing official has strongly advocated a hike in air fares by 15 percent to regain the health of the civil aviation industry.

Dinesh Keskar, Boeing India president and Senior Vice President (Sales) for Asia-Pacific and India, has warned that if the fares were not revised upwards, the airlines would continue to have massive losses and it would be difficult sustaining the health of the industry.

Addressing a news conference at India Aviation 2012 here Wednesday, he said the fare increase could see some reduction in the number of passengers but there was no alternative.

Keskar said that despite the challenges the industry faced, Boeing was bullish on India.

“In the foreseeable future, India will still be the largest growth market in the world despite the problems in fuel and in terms of capacity.”

He said the growth rate in India would still be double digit because of the resilience in the market.

He forecast that Indian carriers would carry carry 69 million passengers this year inspite of potential issues like not having capital.

In 2010, for the first time in India, domestic carriers carried over 50 million passengers. The figure in 2011 was 55 million.

He added that while the domestic growth of Indian civil aviation was phenomenal, it was not profitable.

“That growth is continuously plagued by losses to the tune of a billion to billion and half dollars. No industry can sustain this time after time,” he said.

He noted that globally, the industry profit forecast was steadily coming down and added that fuel price would be a big issue for airlines across the world.

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