India’s second wave of covid-19 has thrown a cloud over its planes, which have barely recovered since the catastrophic closure of 2020.
The number of domestic passengers has increased monthly since flights returned to the skies in June. However, in the week ending April 3, fewer Indians flew than last week, the second fall of the following week dropped in passenger numbers.
“Airlines are heading for the cliff, as in addition to rising prices, the rupee has been fluctuating in US dollars, thus increasing the cost of operating flights,” said Joshi
The rupee closed at ₹ 74.75 against the dollar on Friday, up 2.06% from a year earlier, according to Bloomberg data. A large part of the cost of flights is in dollars; therefore any decrease in inflation directly affects the performance of the aircraft.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), India’s air traffic controller, is yet to release details of passenger departures in March.
However, according to previous DGCA data, an estimated 7.83 million passengers flew in February, up from 7.73 million in January. This is still 36.71% below the February 2020 numbers.