More than 20,000 people in the aviation sector lost their jobs in the last two years.
New Delhi: The Covid 19 pandemic has dealt a huge blow to the Indian aviation sector since the last two years, with the sector recording a massive loss of more than Rs 25,000 crore and job losses for more than 20,000 people in this sector alone in the last two years.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Civil Aviation Gen. (retd) V.K. Singh told the Lok Sabha earlier this week that about 7,900 people working with various domestic airlines have lost their jobs between March 2020 and November this year, while 13,300 employees working as ground handling staff at different airports have also been rendered jobless due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The cargo handling sector of Indian aviation had witnessed a slight increase in the number of people being employed. This sector recorded an increase in its workforce by just 380 people between the same time. And industry insiders say that since commercial passenger aircraft were banned or restricted from flying during the pandemic, the cargo business of the airlines had shot up, which led to the increase in the workforce in this sector and survival revenue was also being earned by the airlines through their cargo services.
Several airlines had also undertaken salary cuts for their employees to help the airlines stay afloat during the time they were forced to halt operations due the pandemic. The Ministry of Civil Aviation earlier this week told the Lok Sabha that the airlines sector had incurred an estimated loss of Rs 19,564 crore, while airports have incurred an estimated loss of Rs 5,116 crore during the financial year 2020-2021.
The scheduled domestic operations were shut from 23 March 2020 which were subsequently opened in a calibrated manner 25 May 2020. Initially, the airline operators were only allowed to operate 33% of their capacity with a capping in the fare for all the airlines introduced by the ministry. It was only from October this year that the Ministry allowed full operations of scheduled domestic flights.
International scheduled flights still remain suspended. It was supposed to open from 15 December this year, but the Ministry of Civil Aviation has postponed the opening of international flights in view of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 that originated from South Africa.
However, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has said they are doing their best to bring back the aviation sector to its feet again. With regards to this, the GST on Maintenance and Repair services on aircraft have been reduced from 18% to 5%, a conducive environment for leasing and financing has also been created by the ministry, and creation of new airports and airfields are also being undertaken by the ministry.