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Do you think Indian ATC is doing enough to reduce RT congestion in the skies ?
From The Editor's Desk - Fourteenth Issue, July- August 2008

Indian Aviation is flying through turbulent weather these days what with the ATF (Aviation turbine fuel) prices world over sky rocketing to one of the highest in the recent times. Apart from sharply rising ATF prices which account for 30%-40% of the direct operating costs in Aviation, costs associated with rising and high lease rentals of aircraft and poor financial performance are responsible for taking many Aircraft Companies in India into severe Bad Weather. The depreciation of the Rupee vis-à-vis the Dollar and rising cost of hiring foreign pilots due to acute shortage of well qualified and trained Indian pilots are also contributing causes.

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Jai Hind

Going by the IATA reports, Airlines world over are facing a crisis situation.

The Indian Government has approved the setting up of a high powered expert Committee to examine various issues relating to the financial crises being faced by the domestic airlines. Also to ease out the situation the Indian Government introduced slashing of jet fuel prices by 4.3% by the State run oil Companies due to the consequential reduction of Government Custom Duty on the fuel from 10 to 05 per cent.

But due to almost 100% increase in jet fuel prices in the past year, four times , this is a very small relief according to the Indian Aviation .

At such a crucial juncture the Airlines Companies in India need to do proper route planning to maximize their revenues. They need to devise methods to cut additional costs. Most of the Indian low cost Carriers started their operations in 2004 or 2005 or later and have not started reaping profits yet. The normal time required for Airline Companies to break even is 5-7 years. So, they are the worst hit.

But let us not lose heart. The passenger traffic has increased from 48 million in 2004-05 in India to 116 million in 2007-08.The Indian Economy is registering a steady growth. So, we need to devise ways to steer the aircraft out of this bad weather phase. We need to plan. We need to combine all our forces to come out of the bad weather. We need to support financially our low cost carriers so as to make air travel within the reach of common man. We need to make cost friendly low cost terminals and airports.

And God willing WE SHALL make it once again..................... into FAIR WEATHER.

Aryama Sanyal