The civil aviation industry in India, for about a decade now, is passing through the most complex phase. Many players have fallen like a pack of cards, unable to meet their debt obligations owing to a variety of reasons. That is serious and does not augur well for the industry and the country. The latest on the list is the cash strapped Jet Airways that has announced a temporary shutdown of its operations after the lenders thoughtfully turned down the airline’s demand for emergency funding.
It may be stated here that, to give a boost to the domestic aviation sector, the government has been working on various initiatives including upgradation of airports as well as enhancing regional air connectivity. It is unfortunate that this turbulence should occur in a country like India that offers a huge potential for expansion.
While all concerned, including the Director General of Civil Aviation, are already seized of the matter, it is necessary that some kind of viable solution is expeditiously worked out to ensure business continuity. This is vital now when the world is recognising India’s steady advances in multiple fields. The industry is highly cyclical and operates on a thin margin with a heavy capex leading to a high leverage. The crux of the problem concerning the entire civil aviation industry will need to be addressed in a holistic manner instead of treating any single airline in isolation.
Srinivasan Umashankar, Nagpur
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