WINGS & WHEELS | Aviation Industry: 2021 & 2022

New DelhiWritten By: Sumit ChaturvediUpdated: Dec 30, 2021, 06:51 PM IST

Image for representation Photograph:(Reuters)

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The year 2022 is starting on a somber note. The skies are still hazy with new concerns about the Covid-19 Omicron variant and flights cancellations have already begun

2021 started with hope for the aviation sector but the same can't be said about its end. At the beginning of the year, India had just begun coming out of months-long lockdowns and there were hopes for the rest of the year, but the year has not turned out to be as good as it could have been. Cautiously optimistic, that's how the aviation industry's approach in 2021 can be defined. Apart from many flip-flops the only definitive thing that can be said about 2021 is that the year will be remembered as the year in which the much-awaited sale of Air India took-off. Tatas have become the new owner of Air India and the changes will be clear in due course of time in 2022. The world is staring at uncertainty once again as Omicron virus concerns have engulfed the world. 

The hopes for the year-end international holidays were rekindled when aviation India's aviation ministry decided to open international flights from Dec 15 but these hopes were quickly dashed to the ground and wait for the international holidays just got a little longer. There was a ray of hope with the announcement that international flights would start from Dec 15, but international flight ban was soon extended till Jan 31, 2022, in light of the Omicron scare. The news would otherwise have brought cheer to the global aviation players and those who were planning international holidays.


After much delay and deliberations, Air India was finally sold off to the Tata Group, the former owners, and founders of the airline. In 2022, Air India is likely to be visible in a new Avatar, donning new cap and shouldering the expectations of better service. 


Dubai's biennial Air Show kicked off in style on November 14 after a gap of two years. At the airshow which was held under the shadow of Covid-19, India's Tejas fighter aircraft enthralled the spectators at Al Maktoum airport, a second and smaller international hub to Dubai's main airport. The airshow raked in $78 billion in secured or announced commercial and military deals during the five-day event in November.


The airlines that started with partial resumption of flights were allowed to resume 100 percent capacity. From October 18 the airlines were able to resume 100 percent capacity. The restrictions were imposed after airlines resumed operations after a complete shut down in mid-2020. However, the civil aviation ministry is yet to remove the full-fare caps. 


The year 2022 is starting on a sombre note. The skies are still hazy with new concerns about the Covid-19 Omicron variant and flights cancellations have already begun. Airlines are once again predicting heavy losses. Ryanair, the Irish airline and Europe’s largest by passenger numbers, has more than doubled its annual loss forecast for current financial year.

Yet in countries like India the new year appears to be promising with two new airlines including Akasa ready to take-off and there is possibility of Jet Airways getting new wings. Also, Air India with a new owner will be seen in a new form with some services aimed at winning the trust of customers. Also on the horizon are the concerns about the rising crude prices. From the level of $80 to a barrel currently, crude prices can touch $100 next year giving sleepless nights to the airlines and the overall aviation world. 

(Disclaimer: The views of the writer do not represent the views of WION or ZMCL. Nor does WION or ZMCL endorse the views of the writer.)