Aviation News

India will become the most exciting market for global aviation: IATA DG, ET Infra


India is going to be the most exciting market for global aviation, industry group International Air Transport Association (IATA) said. Willie Walsh, director general of IATA said that due to investments made by the Indian government on airport infrastructure, the potential of growth from the Indian market has increased manifold.

IATA counts more than 300 airlines as members.

“I think India is the market for the future. I will be very optimistic about its growth. Potential growth in India is going to make it a very exciting market,” Walsh said in response to a query from ET.

IATA also forecasted that revenues for airlines are set to grow in 2024 as continued growth in post-pandemic travel is offset by the high cost of capital and capacity constraints.

The airline sector returned to profitability in 2023, with net profit expected at $23.3 billion on a 2.6% margin, and is set to reach $25.7 billion and a margin of 2.7% next year, the global industry group said.

The airline industry’s operating profit is expected to touch USD 49.3 billion in 2024 from $ 40.7 billion this year. In 2024, the total revenue is estimated to grow 7.6 per cent to $964 billion compared to 2023.

This growth is primarily being driven by emerging economies like India as compared to developed markets, Andrew Matters, director, policy and economics at IATA said. But, this has been driven more by the domestic market as compared to international traffic, he said.

“While some of the region’s main domestic markets — China, Australia and India — recovered quickly from the pandemic, international travel to and from the region was subdued as China only eliminated the last of its international travel restrictions in mid-2023,” Matters said.

But the high growth and revenues don’t necessarily mean a profitable growth, IATA DG Walsh warned saying that airlines will always compete ferociously for their customers but they remain far too burdened by onerous regulation, fragmentation, high infrastructure costs and a supply chain populated with oligopolies.

“Industry profits must be put into proper perspective,” IATA’s head Willie Walsh said.

“On average airlines will retain just $5.45 for every passenger carried. That’s about enough to buy a basic grande latte at a London Starbucks,” he said.

(The reporter is in Geneva on invitation from IATA)

  • Published On Dec 6, 2023 at 06:29 PM IST

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