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Indian aviation industry to suffer $1.5 bn losses in 2009: IATA

Last Updated: Friday, October 23, 2009 - 20:21

New Delhi: Painting a gloomy picture, the
International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Friday said the
Indian aviation industry is estimated to suffer a collective
loss of USD 1.5 billion in 2009, with Air India accounting for
most of it.

Indian airlines together would suffer "a loss of USD 1.5
billion in 2009, mostly from Air India. ... The major markets
of India and China will have substantial increase in losses,"
IATA Director General and CEO Giovanni Bisignani said at a
press conference here.
He, however, did not elaborate on the Air India`s losses.
Asked what steps would he prescribe for the national carrier,
he merely said "they have a great management team. So
, they do not need our suggestions."

Replying to questions, he said: "We now expect losses
from commercial airline operations worldwide in 2009 to each
USD 11 billion," making it clear that the losses of the Indian
industry would account for 11 per cent of the global losses.

He said though the "beginning of an economic upturn is
now visible, particularly in Asia, to the benefit of travel
and freight volumes, yields are much weaker than anticipated
and oil prices higher."

Bisignani maintained that "the worst is over, but recovery
will be a long story" and estimated that about USD 80 billion
of losses were to be recovered by the global aviation industry
which would take at least three to four years.

While European carriers would suffer a loss of USD 3.8
billion in 2009, those in Asia would register USD 3.6 billion
losses followed by the US airlines at USD 2.6 billion and
Middle Eastern carriers at USD 500 million, the IATA chief
Asked to comment on the recent pilots` stir in Jet
Airways and Air India, he said "there have been strikes all
over and not just in India. In these difficult times, we would
expect better understanding between the managements and the

Noting that aviation infrastructure in India was "still a
problem", Bisignani said user charges or the airport
development fees, being charged by private airport developers,
was also a problem.

"We have seen improvements in airport infrastructure at
Delhi and Mumbai airports and elsewhere. We are now looking
at improvement in efficiency and a reduction in the user
charges," he said, adding, the newly-established Airport
Economic Regulatory Authority would "look at this very

The IATA has been critical of high airport charges being
imposed across the world on airlines and passengers and the
latest to come under its attack was the British and other
European government`s decision to impose additional taxes on
aviation sector and airlines.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, October 23, 2009 - 20:21
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