Perhaps the most traumatic development the Indian airline industry has witnessed in recent times has been the financial turmoil one of the leading carriers in the private sector namely Jet Airways, has been going through. Rather unfortunately, this has ultimately led to total bankruptcy compelling the airline to shut down operations altogether. Apparently this is not an overnight development as the airline has been afflicted by a variety of problems for several years. Some of these have been related to the operating environment and others to flawed policies adopted by the management which has largely been a ‘one man show’. Hopefully, the multi-pronged effort by the government and financial institutions does bear fruit and is able to extricate the airline from the morass it has descended into. In this issue of SP’s AirBuz, there is an in-depth analysis by Satyendra Pandey, an experienced professional from the Indian civil aviation industry, on the collapse of Jet Airways.
Forecast by renowned analysts invariably paint a rosy picture of the future of the Indian civil aviation industry that is being seen as becoming the third largest in the world by 2025 or so. This issue of the magazine carries an analysis by J Noronha of the state of the Indian airline industry and its prospects for the future. The author is of the view that given the impediments, it may not be possible to meet with the projected growth rate in the expected time frame. The Indian carriers today are definitely burdened with the ever escalating price of Aviation Turbine Fuel which constitutes a very high percentage of their operating costs. What holds promise for the future, apart from innovations in engine and aircraft designs that are aimed at reducing fuel consumption and cutting down emissions that degrade the environment, is the thrust towards development of Bio-fuels technology for aviation. An analysis by Isha and Zorawar Jaiswal on this option that is seen to be powering aviation in the future, has been included in this issue of the magazine.
A problem that is afflicting not only the city of Bengaluru, but all the metros across the nation is that of traffic gridlock that results in criminal wastage of productive man hours. In this issue of SP’s AirBuz, there is an interview of Govind Nair who has exercised a bold initiative to launch a Helicopter Taxi service between Kempagowda International Airport in Bengaluru to Electronic City at affordable cost. A journey by road between these two locations on the Northern and Southern fringes of the city, could take more than two and a half hours. Hopefully the other major cities in the country that are currently battling with the problem of traffic congestion, would be blessed with such initiatives by entrepreneurs in the private sector, if not by the government.
The Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) segment is a vital component of the Indian civil aviation industry. Unfortunately, its growth in India over the years has been slow and now is being stifled by the newly introduced Goods and Services Tax (GST) which is virtually killing the industry. A report on this problem by the undersigned has been included in this issue.
All these and more in this issue of SP’s AirBuz. Welcome aboard and we wish you many happy landings!