Impact of the pandemic on the aviation industry


Two years ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. Since then, life across the world has changed including a drastic shift in the transportation industry. Speaking of which, the aviation industry has remained one of the hardest-hit global industries since the beginning of the crisis. Within no time it became evident that COVID-19 would evolve into a catastrophe like no other resulting in the industry reverting to survival mode, impaired by the lack of revenues because of which thousands of employees were either laid off, sent on leave without pay, or had their salaries cut. According to VK Singh, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, India, the total number of employees of domestic carriers has declined from around 74,800 as on 31st March, 2020 to around 66,900 as on 31st March 2021, which is a decline of over 7,900 employees.

As stated by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), in 2020 global passenger traffic as measured in revenue passenger kilometers declined by 65.9% compared to 2019, as international passenger demand dropped 75.6% and domestic demand fell 48.8% below 2019 levels. In fact, 2020, the year that the outbreak began, was deemed as "The worst year in history for air travel demand.” Following this, multiple restrictions and regulations were introduced to restrict free movement and help curb the spread of the virus. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, passengers also noted the importance of cabin cleanliness and airline reputation.


Owing to this, the Government of India has taken various measures to strengthen the aviation industry, taking into consideration safety and health of the passengers. Some of which include:


1. Implementation of COVID-19 protocols, use of protective gear, and contact-less passenger handling procedures such as 100% online check-in, self-declaration forms, and self-baggage drop.
2. Air Bubbles, or exclusive air links, have been established with 31 countries.
3. In the next 4-5 years, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) plans to develop new airports, expand or upgrade existing airports at a cost of around Rs 25,000 crores.
4. Three Public Private Partnership (PPP) airports in Hyderabad, Delhi, and Bengaluru have undertaken major expansion plan.
5. The Government of India has accorded "in-principle" approval for setting up 21 Greenfield Airports in the country.

In spite of the loss of commercial aviation, evacuation and cargo flight from various airports were operating and they continue to support the economy. The cargo airline revenues increased substantially during the pandemic, reaching 128.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2020. In 2022, air freight traffic is expected to grow to 69.3 million metric tons, up from the 56.1 million metric tons reported before the outbreak of the virus in 2020.


Having said that, the Aviation Industry requires skilled workforce who are specifically trained for job roles. Today, various short courses are available that give aviation specific guidance and help you enter the field with various aviation stakeholders. With government opening up various flights under UDAAN in secondary and tertiary cities, there are options not only in metros but also in smaller cities like Bareilly, Vijaywada, Jharsuguda etc.

Although much uncertainty still surrounds the recovery of the aviation industry, it is expecting some positive prospects and signs of recovery starting with the biggest vaccination drive in history. Safe to say that both industry stakeholders and travellers are eager to resume traveling.

Train with us and become a part of the growing aviation industry today. To begin with, connect with us at gmraa.contact@gmrgroup.in and choose your path for a skyrocketing career.

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