India to see 6.8 percent demand fall in aviation sector (Lead, Changing Dateline)

March 24th, 2009 - 8:41 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 24 (IANS) India’s aviation industry is likely to see a 6.8 percent fall in demand and 4 percent drop in capacity in 2009 due to the “rapid deterioration of the global economic conditions,” an international air travel lobby said Tuesday.
“Overall, India is expected to see a 6.8 percent fall in demand but only a 4 percent drop in capacity,” Giovanni Bisignani, the director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said in a statement.

India’s international air services, which have grown three-fold between 2000-08, will see demand fall by 2-3 percent, while capacity may increase 0.7 percent this year, he added.

Speaking of the global aviation industry, Bisignani said the prospects remained “grim” as demand had deteriorated rapidly.

“Our loss forecast for 2009 (for the global aviation industry) is now Rs.23,500 crore ($4.7 billion),” he said.

“This is significantly worse than our December forecast of Rs.12,500-crore ($2.5 billion) loss in 2009, reflecting the rapid deterioration of the global economic conditions,” Bisignani added.

Passenger traffic is expected to contract by 5.7 percent globally in the next one year, while cargo demand will likely decline 13 percent, the IATA said.

Airlines operating in the Asia Pacific countries including India would be hit hard by the slowdown and would post losses to the tune of Rs.8,500 crore, worse than the previous estimate of Rs.550 crore.

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