India in talks to increase aviation bilaterals: Scindia

Forum Gandhi | Updated on: Jul 07, 2022
Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya M. Scindia

Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya M. Scindia | Photo Credit: -

For Indian carriers this could be a good news as they are looking at adding more aircraft to their fleets

As demand for international travel picks up, the Civil Aviation Ministry is in talks with multiple countries to increase the number of flights under bilateral agreements.

Speaking to BusinessLine, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, said, “We are open to increasing our bilateral agreements. We were looking at signing an Air Services Agreement (ASA) with Canada. Even with Africa, we are looking at increasing our direct bilaterals from the north and south India. We are also speaking with the UK and other European countries. We have also reopened our ASA with Finland as well so we are very eager in terms of opening up the conversations.”

This could be good news for Indian carriers as they are looking at adding more aircraft to their fleets. In the recent past IndiGo, Vistara, GoFirst and Air India have all spoken about their international expansion plans. Global and Indian airlines have been asking for more seats or flights under bilateral agreements.

Nripendra Singh, Global Director, Frost & Sullivan, explained that in the current light of international skies opening up, conversations on bilaterals are important. “These conversations are good because all countries want to get a good rate of return, and hence, revisiting the bilaterals at this point of time.” Singh said.

The Civil Aviation ministry has also identified at least 10-12 international routes to connect from North-East under the Udan international scheme. “The bidding is complete and we are awarding them. Close to about 10-12 routes are connecting the North-East of our country to the Eastern part of the world,” Scindia added.

Subsequent to the resumption of international commercial operations from March 27, after a ban of two years, international passenger traffic has registered a steady improvement in the last three months and reached 79 per cent of pre-Covid levels (similar period in FY20) in June 2022 (April 2022 – 63 per cent; May 2022 – 72 per cent). 

Overall, the passenger traffic stood at 88 per cent of pre-Covid levels in June. Supported by the passenger traffic, the aircraft traffic stood at 96-99 per cent of pre-Covid levels during April-June 2022. ICRA, in its recent report, expects aircraft traffic to display a 45-47 per cent YoY growth and to reach pre-Covid levels during FY23.

Published on July 07, 2022
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