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39 new airlines took to skies in 2022: IATA

Nearly 39 new commercial airline operators took to the skies globally in 2022. This includes Akasa Airlines (passenger) and Pradaan Air Express (cargo) in India. Airline “births” are back to pre-pandemic levels after a downturn to 29 in 2020 was followed by a steep recovery to 58 in 2021, says a report by International Air Transport Association, a trade association of global airlines.

Amid the intense competition and other challenges facing the airline industry, the pandemic also created opportunities for start-up airlines, in part thanks to the buoyant second-hand aircraft market (making aircraft leasing more affordable).

Over the past three years, the number of airline deaths — cessation of an airline’s Air Operator Certificate (AOC) — and dormancies (airlines operating fewer than 10 flights per month) fell. While 15 airlines ceased operations in 2022, the number of airline births exceeded “deaths” in 2021 and 2022.

The number of airline deaths fell to 53 in 2020 from 59 in 2019, but this was accompanied by a sharp increase in dormancies — 156 — that year. Without government support the number of airline deaths during the pandemic would have been substantially higher, the report says.

At a regional level, Europe accounted for about half of all airline births in 2022, boasting 20 new airlines alongside seven “deaths”. Asia-Pacific also showed net growth, with nine airline births and one ceasing operations, despite taking a greater hit from travel restrictions and Covid disruptions compared to other regions in 2022. Interestingly, in North America alone airline deaths exceeded births in 2022.

Overall, the rising number of new and resurrected airlines, coupled with fewer deaths, shows the industry remains attractive to entrepreneurs and investors alike, supporting the continued recovery expected in 2023, IATA said. (Source The Hindu Business Line)

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