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Airlines can survive the Covid turbulence

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, India’s airlines will be badly affected. Planning departments are on overdrive. Fleet reductions, forced leave without pay, restructuring, renegotiation of contracts, delayed deliveries — all are on the table. Yet, for the majority of the airlines, the outcomes are binary: sale or shutdown. The pre-Covid model that enabled 207 million air-trips in FY20 is at odds with post-pandemic realities. Historical data no longer informs the future. The only option is to start from scratch and zero-base the airline model.

The pandemic notwithstanding, airline business models have seen little innovation in the past 50 years. The ...

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