The Indian government recently bailed out the private telecom sector of the country. But it isn’t the only sector that is struggling. The airline industry along with the travel and tourism sector has been severely hit. The reason behind this is widespread of Omicron variant COVID-19 cases. Indian Airlines were only recovering but that recovery has been cut short due to COVID-19 in early 2022.
The budget is not even a month far from here. Just like everyone else, the aviation bodies in India want the government to offer some relief to the airline sector as well. Multiple airlines are struggling to maintain cash flow and with fuel costs rising in the near future, it is going to be even more difficult.
Despite All the Hardships, the Government Unlikely to Help Airline Sector
The airline industry is unlikely to get any help from the government. With the telecom sector, the government had a lot to gain. Further, if Vodafone Idea had gone down, it would have left the sector ailing with a duopoly which would have made problems worse for the centre. On top of this, telecom services are the backbone of the country, thus, leaving the telecom sector alone was not much of a choice for the government.
But with the airline industry, the scenario is completely different. The government actually left the aviation sector completely by selling Air India to the Tata Group while taking an equity stake in Vodafone Idea and Tata Teleservices. It clearly shows the interest of the centre at the moment.
Most likely, airlines would have to struggle and make out of this alone. The only way to recover would be to get a larger piece of the market, but for that reducing fares is needed. However, with the rising jet fuel costs, it is impossible.
Akasa Air, a new airline backed by Rakesh Jhunjhunwala is also expected to make its entry soon after which Jet Airways 2.0 is also planning to navigate through the competition in the Indian airline sector.
While the competition is rising, there is no way the government is going to help the sector any time soon.