No-frills carrier SpiceJet's chief Ajay Singh on Thursday said the aviation sector is under a lot of pressure but exuded confidence that the"proactive steps" taken by the government would help in overcoming the "crisis situation."Singh, who turned around the fortunes of SpiceJet which was on the brink of closure more than five years ago, also appreciated the government's efforts in containing the coronavirus cases to a large extent in the country.
So far, the pandemic has resulted in more than 4,000 deaths worldwide, and the number of coronavirus patients in the country has risen to 73."The aviation sector is under a lot of pressure. But this is temporary. We have been here before," Singh, who is SpiceJet Chairman and Managing Director, said in a statement. Noting that SpiceJet is far better placed than many others to weather this "turbulence", Singh said it was also an opportunity for the airline, the government and aviation ecosystem to create more efficient and viable structures for the growth that lies ahead.
SpiceJet is "closely working" with the government and look forward to its continued guidance and support, he added."The Indian aviation market and especially the domestic market has immense potential and will remain amongst the fastest growing in the world, Singh said."I am confident that the proactive steps that have been taken by the government will help us overcome this crisis situation and set India apart as a prudent and safe country," Singh said.
More than 490 flights operated by foreign carriers to and from India have been cancelled for varying periods of time while the count of weekly flights cancelled by domestic airlines is more than 90, as per official data. The number of cancelled flights on international routes is expected to rise as India has also suspended all visas, except a few categories such as diplomatic and employment, till April 15 as part of efforts to curb spreading of coronavirus infections.
Earlier in the day, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the number of international passengers arriving at the country's airports has come down to around 62,000 per day from 70,000 in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The count is expected to decline further to 40,000 following the fresh travel restrictions announced by the government on Wednesday.