‘Indian aviation industry second biggest loser after US’

September 24th, 2008 - 8:49 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 24 (IANS) India’s civil aviation industry is the second largest loser after the US due to the recession worldwide and the government can, indeed, help by hastening its decision-making process, says the chief of a global airline association.”It is a wake-up call for India,” Giovanni Bisignani, director general and CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said Wednesday.

“Although the government has formed committees to look into the grievances of aviation industry, little has been done to address these issues,” Bisignani, who is here on an official visit, told an interactive session with the media.

“India’s decision-making is too slow. The crisis highlights this.”

IATA represents over 230 airlines worldwide, including air operators in India and accounts for 93 percent of scheduled international air traffic.

“The government must understand that aviation has a key role to play in the Indian economy and India’s aviation policies have a critical role in the region,” said the IATA chief.

“India will have to choose if it is looking to become a market leader or wants to have a big market share,” he added.

Bisignani said by 2010, the Asia-Pacific region will be the biggest market for the aviation industry in the world. The market would be conquered by others, if the government fails to adopt concrete measures to the concerns of the industry, he warned .

“India will post the largest losses outside the US - potentially around $1.5 billion this year,” Bisignani said, adding that airlines globally will lose $5.2 billion this year, and a further $4.1 billion next year.

Bisignani predicted that the next months were critical for the Indian aviation industry. “The global crisis is hitting India hard and has made the situation critical. Cutting fares to fill seats has not worked and caused growth to fall from 33 percent in 2007 to 7.5 percent in the first half of 2008 and went negative in the last two months,” he said.

The IATA said it was imperative to reduce operational expenses, improve infrastructure and achieve global standards. “But none of this has happened much in India so far,” the IATA chief said.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Business |