India’s largest domestic airline prepares for third wave of Covid-19

India’s largest domestic airline says it is building a war fund of more than $1 billion as it prepares for a third wave of Covid-19 infections, just as a brutal nationwide outbreak begins to ebb.

Runogoi Dutta, CEO of IndiGo Airlines’ parent company InterGlobe Airlines, told the Financial Times he hoped the company’s business would return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year, but cautioned that another Corona virus wave In November it could cause more turmoil.

The budget airline plans to raise 30 billion rupees ($410 million) through qualified institutional placement, a capital raising tool used in India, to prepare for a worst-case scenario. IndiGo also plans to raise approximately $600 million through bank credit, sales and aircraft leasebacks.

Doctors tell us there will be a third wave. “There’s no telling if there’s anything or reservations about it, and it’s probably coming around November, December,” Dutta said.

The council says, “Look, the environment is volatile . . . What if we go into shutdown for another three months, then what? And the return is zero? We are working on securing insurance for this kind of disaster scenario.”

Coronavirus cases are steadily declining in India after peaking in mid-May, although the country set a one-day world record of more than 6,000 deaths this week, driven in part by… delta variable It was identified for the first time in the country.

However, there are still about 100,000 cases reported per day and many countries have issued Travel Restrictions For travelers from India.

Prior to the troop surge at the beginning of the year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Downplay the threat of the second wave and claimed that the country had the virus under control.

As the second wave receded, New Delhi adopted more cautious messages, warning of a third wave and expanding its vaccination campaign.

The aviation sector in India punish Through regional lockdowns across the country. IndiGo passenger capacity From 80 percent in February to 30 percent in mid-May.

InterGlobe, which has a market share of more than 50 percent, this month announced its fifth consecutive quarterly loss.

However, Dutta said the third wave is unlikely to be so as harmful as the second. “as long [India keeps] Vaccinate about 700,000 people a day. . . “It’s going to be a very flat wave,” he said.

He also expects IndiGo to benefit from Indians taking “revenge holidays” after being confined to their homes for months, adding that the company has added new routes to holiday hotspots such as the Maldives.

Dutta said the pandemic “has set India back at least two or three years”. “But we will catch up… I have great faith in the story of Indian growth.”

His cautious optimism has tempered the contrast with the glut of Indian stocks, which have recently hit Standard heights.

The World Bank cut India’s growth forecast for this year from 10.1 to 8.3 percent, blaming the second wave of the coronavirus.

“The recovery will start from August onwards, and for three months it is still a de facto shutdown in many states,” said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist at Care Ratings.

“Now it is almost assumed that there will be a third wave coming, so there will be better preparation,” Sabnavis added. “The game guide is somehow set.”

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