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 airline product, namely transporting passengers from Point A to Point B, has become slower, more cumbersome and more suspect