The partial shutdown of the economy is resulting in job losses and hence, the government must look at easing restrictions to save jobs, IndiGoChief Executive Officer Rono Dutta told CNBC-TV18 in an exclusive interview.
The partial shutdown of the economy is resulting in job losses and hence, the government must look at easing restrictions to save jobs, IndiGo
Chief Executive Officer Rono Dutta told CNBC-TV18 in an exclusive interview.
"We really need to open up the economy more and sooner rather than later. When the virus first hit, no one knew the right answers. Now we see the consequences of the Lockdown and I really feel it's hurting jobs too much," Dutta said.
Remembering his days as a young parent to three children, Dutta said that such circumstances are very difficult for young parents with young children as, for them, jobs are critical.
"Vulnerable segments of our demographics are really young parents with young children. Those jobs are so critical. I have been there. I have three children and I remember feeling totally responsible for them. I remember feeling totally vulnerable and totally terrified. It is hurting jobs so much that I think it is very important that we open up the economy to take care and provide jobs to those families," Dutta added.
As per IATA's Director General Alexandre de Juniac, around 25 million jobs are at risk until the aviation sector is functioning again.
"25 million people is equal to the entire population of Australia. It is equal to the entire labor force of Italy and larger than the workforce of major industrialized nations like Spain or Canada. The scale of the economic impact is enormous," Junaic had said on April 7.
While Indian airlines have not announced any lay-offs so far, almost all have implemented salary cuts and leave without pay. In addition, a limit on operations and cap on fares has further affected the revenue position of airlines.
Supporting the decisions taken so far by the government, Dutta said that while unprecedented times call for such measures, the government must look at adopting a short-term correction approach for now, just as the airline itself is doing.
"These are unprecedented circumstances and the government has made some moves and I support them fully. First, do a Lockdown let's see what happens? Let's put in a small amount of capacity 30 percent let's put in a fare cap so that things don't go haywire in the first few days. All very good moves," Dutta said.
"In these times of crisis, you have to make short term correction. You need course correction constantly. We are doing that too and so should the government. It is time to partially lift lockdown even more. Time to move 30 percent cap to 50 percent. It's time to reduce the international restrictions and the government has said to remove the fare cap by August and I hope they will hold to that," Dutta added.
IndiGo is the largest airline in the country with around 49 percent market share and used to operate over 1,500 flights on a daily basis before lockdown.