This cargo business, however, may not be enough to ensure financial success in the long-run, experts said.

Not enough to survive

Even as some funds trickle in from the freighters, carriers are focused on cutting costs.

“Many airlines have already started undertaking salary cuts for their employees, including leave without pay and laying off pilots and crew members,” Shah said. On May 30, low-cost airline GoAir announced a pay cut of over 60% for its senior pilots.

Despite these moves, the aviation industry is likely to have a really bad year. Analysts expect the demand for air travel to remain subdued for several more months, which would derail aviation companies’ expansion and new aircraft purchase plans. ICRA has predicted a de-growth of 44% for the Indian aviation industry for the FY21.

“Passenger traffic at airports is expected to remain under pressure for the first half of FY21, with some recovery only likely in the second half,” said Anupama Arora, aviation sector head and vice-president of ICRA. “As a result, passenger traffic is estimated to witness a sharp year-on-year decline of 45-50% in FY21.”

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