This is one report that the Indians, and particularly those who have something to do with the Indian aviation industry, would have preferred not to look at. But, coming from the stables of an organization that has the reputation of showing the way ahead for global aviation, the report just cannot be ignored, dismissed or even criticized for any reason. Facts are facts and these need to be accepted. IATA has outlined that domestic air traffic sector of the Indian aviation has been worst performing globally. It points to the stark figure of a plunge of 12.4 percent in the domestic air traffic, which is the largest plunge recorded anywhere in the world.
The report is ominous for the reason that it is taken as an indicator of the pace of economic growth in the country and this figure also determines the fate of airlines in the long run and affects their operational plans significantly. Even the most profitable of airlines such as the domestic carriers providing cheap air tickets are likely to reorient their short and long term plan if they have to remain profitable. For the government, this is a cause of concern because it means slower pace of growth at national level. It also points to the fact that the factors resulting in the rise of ticket prices which once provided the cheap international flights need to be revisited urgently to stem the decline in the domestic air traffic.
It is noteworthy that the experts have squarely blamed the government policies for this decline. They point to the irrational jet fuel prices due to higher rates and multiple levels of taxation, high landing and parking charges and steep increase in the user fees at the DIAL as some of the main reasons where the government needs to step in and put things in order.