One of the most affected sectors of business and industry, that has been crippled by the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, is the Air Travel Industry. Most airlines are grounded since March 2020, especially the private ones, which thrive on tourism and business travel. Billions of Dollars of investment on state-of-the-art technology at airports and the latestAero Plane fleets, hi-tech terminal access and other allied sectors of the industry are virtually grounded to a long break and end to which is not predictable.
Air Travellers Association (ATA), a body of air travellers and is headed by aviation experts and frequent travelers; all put their heads together on May 29, to strike a guess on possible strategies and global best practices for catching back theskyline and hit the growth trajectory of 2019 !
The webinar was moderated by Dr. Sanat Kaul, IAS (Retd) & Chairman International Foundation for Aviation, Aerospace & Drones; veteransof aviation trade and PR Guru Mr. G.S. Bawa, former GM (PR) Airports Authority of India as ex-officio ATA took part in the same. The galaxy of panelistsinclude aviation experts Mr. Suresh Nair, GM Air Asia Group for India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal; Capt. Deepak Shastri, Airport Director Shirdi Airport, Former ED, AAI, and Dr. BK. Singh, MBBS, DCH,DNB, Sr. Consultant, ex-Head Medanta Medical Centre, IGI Airport and ex-Major Army Medical Corps. Mr. PS Nair, former CEO, Delhi Airport and founder CEO of HIAL introduced the theme of the Webinar and gave insight of the industry and the rosy picture of the aviation if the government acts in a manner that was left for the panelists to dwell upon during the webinar.
The high point of the 90 minute long webinar was the confidence of the veteran aviators in restoration of Air services in the near future, as soon as the pandemic subsides and passengers are able to step out of their homes. Most frequent leisure and business travelers and the VFR are keen to book their flights, domestic as well as international. Some speakers wanted Govt of India to put in some financial incentives to the Airports and Airlines and to protect the passengers from their already booked ticket money as well as to restore their confidence towards safe air travel.