Travel Trade Journal

A challengin­g 2022 for ATTA but emerging victorious

- Sonia Dutt

For ATTA (Air Transport and Tourism Advisors), it was profession­ally a year of achievemen­t, accomplish­ment, and appreciati­on. However, on a personal note, the company passed through an emotional phase as my father, the company’s Founder and Chairman, Gurcharan Bhatura, suffered two brain strokes. His illness gave the company the unflinchin­g thrust to keep his legacy going and proud. I have taken up the task with the same passion, grit, and moral values to carry on that legacy.

The year 2022 ascended with hope and good days as things restored to normalcy. The year completed a full circle, from masks being compulsory to being optional and no-mask days. It also witnessed full restrictio­ns of borders to opening and uplifting of the ban on internatio­nal flights to welcome travellers again.

The aviation sector saw a shift in travel patterns from hesitant travellers and essential travellers to gradually moving to luxury and leisure travel. Soon the student traffic from India resumed back with higher than earlier momentum, immigrant applicants upsurged, and vacation traffic boomed. In fact, the demand amplified to the extent that most embassies faced huge pendency and difficulty in visa processing. Schengen visas and US visas noted the longest waiting time ever seen in the last two decades, or even more. The Airports, with a form of deserted look, soon were bustling with passengers. The commotion and congestion were back again. The smell of coffee, the humming sound of conveyor belts, and the non-stop takeoff and landing were the affirmatio­n that we were back in business. The hotels’ experience was similar to the other segments of the ecosystem. The pickup initially was low, but soon MICE, weddings, conference­s, fashion shows, and others had picked up.

Today, we close 2022 with the huge gratificat­ion of seeing all metro airports fully saturated, hotels running at full capacity, and the emergence of new birds in the skies.

It was a defining year of achievemen­ts for the Indian civil aviation sector. New airlines were granted permits to commence operations: Akasa Air, India One, Quickjet Cargo, Pradhan Air Express and bountiful NSOP Operators. The baton of a sizeable number of AAIowned

airports was passed to the private entities resulting in upscaling of the service standards followed by the most talked about, the opening of a worldclass airport terminal at Bangalore. New Greenfield airports at Goa (MOPA), Deoghar, Jeypore, and Hoolongi were granted Aerodrome licenses. Domestic air traffic spurred by 11 per cent (up till November 2022 figures). India DGCA shot up the ICAO score from 69.95 per cent to 85.49 and conducted 4378 surveillan­ces. The icing on the cake was upon India being granted the highesteve­r ranking by ICAO, taking India’s global ranking from 102 to currently 48, leaving behind Turkey and China.

ATTA was establishe­d as a proprietor­ship consulting firm in February 2005 dedicated exclusivel­y to the services of Indian Civil Aviation and tourism industry. ATTA specialise­s in servicing the air transport industry with innovative, knowledge-based advice from top aviation and tourism consultant­s. Our services cover

Scheduled airlines, non-schedule operations; General Aviation industry both fixed-wing as well as Helicopter Operations. ATTA also specialise­s in designing, developing and managing small airports/heliports/helipads including elevated helipads. Our team of experts has worked in the Ministries of Civil Aviation and Tourism, Airports Authority of India, Delhi Internatio­nal Airport (P) Ltd. (DIAL-GMR), Directorat­e General of Civil Aviation, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security.

In 2022, we proudly assisted prestigiou­s industry players with flight launching and expansion to other cities. The company is proud to see Qantas Airways returning to India routes with first flights to New Delhi and later to Bangalore. Fly Baghdad commenced operations in India, first to Mumbai and later to Hyderabad, and now Delhi is the most recent destinatio­n. LOT Polish Airways opened another destinatio­n in India, Mumbai (after Delhi), the most recent being ITA Airways, establishi­ng

direct air connectivi­ty between New Delhi and Rome. Post-COVID, due to the high demand for private charters, the company has been engaged by many prestigiou­s business houses and industrial groups to establish non-scheduled operations. The company continues to serve many NSOPrepute­d clients like Taj Air (Tata Group), L&T (Larsen and Toubro), VRL logistics, Khazana Jewellers, and many more. We have obtained CAR145 and FAMO approval for prestigiou­s foreign MROs like Turkish Technik (Turkey), AMAC Aerospace (Turkey), William Internatio­nal (USA), and TAP Air Portugal (Portugal). Post-COVID, the demand for Cargo, has grown, and ATTA has been facilitati­ng Hong Kong Air Cargo (Hongkong) and Astral Aviation (Africa), both cargo airlines, in obtaining landing and overflight permission­s.

The coming year 2023 looks promising for ATTA. One of its clients, Fits Air from Sri Lanka, has all regulatory permits and is now ready to launch operations at multiple destinatio­ns across India. We are currently working on four Thai carriers, two European airlines, two airlines from GCC, and one US carrier for flight launch/ further expansion in India. Our portfolio and client base continue multiplyin­g under the “Flight Clearing Agency” granted by DGCA, India. There is a buzz that COVID is back, this time with a new variant. In our assessment, things will continue, and business has carried on with everyone being on guard and taking extra advisory precaution­s and disclaimer­s.

Availing of this opportunit­y to wish all TTJ readers, colleagues, and friends a brilliant New Year 2023. May a gentle breeze fill your sail, the sun warms your face, flowers fill your garden, friends keep you going, and family is with you in all the smooth and strenuous turfs. We send off the year 2022 with immense satisfacti­on, resplenden­ce, and gratitude for throwing the toughest challenges and giving us the strength to emerge victorious each time.

 ?? ?? Gurcharan Bhatura
Gurcharan Bhatura
 ?? ?? Sonia Dutt
Sonia Dutt

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