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Indian Aviation Market Vibrant, has Big Potential: IATA Director General

According to a report in The ET, there are big opportunities for the aviation industry to explore in India, International Air Transport Association (IATA) director general Willie Walsh said.

Terming the market “vibrant”, he said India is one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world and pointed out that Air India has embarked on an ambitious expansion plan, while IndiGo is set to fly to more international destinations.

India’s growing stature in the aviation global league was reflected with Air India CEO Campbell Wilson and IndiGo CEO Pieter Elbers being appointed among the 31 airline CEOs in the IATA board of governors. Elbers will also serve as chair of the board of governors from June 2024.

Walsh supported India’s proposal that countries should have common but differentiated responsibilities in efforts to reduce carbon emissions. “We acknowledge and recognise the decision of India and many other countries do highlight the need to reflect differentiated responsibilities,” he said.

On May 31, India had asserted that the global mandate for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) with 2050 as the target year was “too early” and that each country must be allowed to develop its strategy as per its national plans. It also sought support from the United Nations’ aviation watchdog ICAO to achieve carbon net zero goals alongside other priorities in the aviation sector such as growing aspirations of passengers.

IATA more than doubled its 2023 profit forecast for the global airline industry despite a looming economic downturn. Airlines are expected to make $9. 8 billion in net profit this year, it said, up from a December 2022 forecast of $4. 7 billion, as business bounces back from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Stronger profitability is supported by cargo revenues, China’s reopening and lower jet fuel prices, Walsh said.
The industry’s main lobby group expects 4. 35 billion people to travel by air this year, not far off the 4. 54 billion passengers in 2019.

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