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Corona effect: Airlines may ground jets

Following the suspension on all tourist & e-visas to India after the virus hit the domestic market, Indian carriers may need to ground as many as 150 aircraft, according aviation consultancy CAPA India. For instance, between March 16 and April 30, Air India has cancelled several flights destinations like Kathmandu, Dubai, Dammam, Riyadh, Jeddah, Doha and Muscat from cities like New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. It has also suspended all flights to Madrid, Paris, Frankfurt, Tel Aviv, Rome, Milan, Incheon, Kuwait and Colombo from New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata until April 30. Similarly, low-cost carrier IndiGo has cancelled several flights to West Asia (Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi) from March 17 until the travel restrictions are lifted.

Such a pattern has been observed throughout the globe as air fares also dropped between 30% and 45%. Owing to a whopping 80% reduction in flight operations, British carrier Virgin Atlantic sent its staff on an eight-week unpaid leave. Meanwhile, India’s airline industry, too, grew merely 9% last month. CAPA went to the extent of saying that airlines could go bankrupt by May 2020 without coordinated action between governments and the aviation industry.