Coronavirus has hit the Indian aviation industry hard due to the travel ban and a lot of air carriers has reached to the government to support them in this crisis. PM Narendra Modi held a meeting between officials from Indian aviation industry, the Home Minister, the Finance Minister, and other senior officials of the Government of India for a comprehensive review of the strategies that could help in making India’s Civil Aviation sector more efficient.
It was decided in the meeting that the Indian Air Space should be effectively used in such a manner that the flying time is reduced benefitting the traveling public and also helping the airlines to save costs in close co-operation with the Department of Military Affairs.
This essentially means that passenger aircrafts in India can now fly over prohibited zones designated by military due to their sensitive nature to cut short the journey from one city to another. This will save both fuel and time for the flights, making them more cost effective.
This move comes after the Indian aviation industry is struggling from impact of coronavirus. To implement social distancing norms, many air carriers might not book the middle seats, hence reducing their earnings. However, the move to shorten flying time can save considerable amount of money in fuel savings and turnaround time.
For reference, Delhi-Mumbai flying time is 2.20 hr. If a more direct route is taken, the flight time can be reduced by at least 30 minutes, bringing the flight time to less than 2 hrs. This essentially means a saving of at least 1000 litre of fuel one way, which is a huge amount for the air carriers.
For generation of more revenue as well as to bring in more efficiency at the airports, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has been asked to expedite the process of handing over of 6 more airports on PPP basis, by commencing the tender process within three months.
The e-DGCA project was also reviewed. This project would bring in more transparency in the DGCA’s office and help all stakeholders by reducing the processing time for various licenses/permissions.