Airfares in India set to rise by up to 8.7%, report finds
India is becoming one of the largest growing aviation markets worldwide, according to a recent report by The Travel Global Forecast 2018. Airfares in India are consequently set to increase by up to 8.7%, with the rise of domestic travel and consumer tourism, the highest fare for any region within Asia-Pacific. The number of passengers in India utilising air travel last year has increased by up to 20%, compared to the previous year.
With double-digit passenger growth over the last two years, prices within Asia-Pacific areas with huge tourist markets, such as mainland China and Hong Kong are set to see significant hikes in airfare costings and economic growth.
“India remains the healthiest of the major emerging Asia Pacific markets with robust growth anticipated given pro- market economic reforms," the report highlighted. It also added: "Last fall, India's government surprised many, cancelling 86 per cent of its circulating currency in an effort to rid its economy of black money and encourage a move towards a cashless, virtual payment society."
This is therefore placing huge pressures on Indian aviation companies. Jet Airways, one of the largest airlines in the region, has seen passenger growth at 9.9%, but is now is cutting the pay of junior pilots by up to 50% or resign in order to bring down costs. Reuters has recently reported that the move could affect up to 400 pilots, but is viewed as an attempt to remain competitive against other low-cost competitors which have sprung up in the region, besides current instabilities within the gulf region.
Additionally, Air India is set to become privatised to support the growth of the aviation industry, as the airline is currently in decline with an approximate debt of 500 billion rupees, according to The National. Indigo is currently looking into putting forth a lucrative deal by placing a significant stake in the company, as well as multinational conglomerate Tata, who currently has partnerships with Vistara, AirAsia and Singapore Airlines.
The price of hotels are also set to rise for travellers in response to growing demands by 3.5% across Asia-Pacific.
Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek
Ask Singaporeans who Ho Ching is, and the majority will answer the ‘wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’. And that’s certainly true. However, she’s also the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and one of the world’s largest investment companies.
Well, she is until October 1, 2021, as she recently announced she would be retiring following 16 years as CEO of the investment giant.
Since taking the reins in 2004, two years after joining Temasek as Executive Director, Ho has gradually transformed what was an investment firm wholly owned by Singapore’s Government into an active investor worldwide, splashing out on sectors like life sciences and tech, expanding its physical footprint with 11 offices worldwide (from London to Mumbai to San Francisco) and delivering growth of US$120 billion between 2010-2020.
Described by Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng as having taken “bold steps to open new pathways in finding the character of the organisations”, Ho is credited with building Temasek’s international portfolio, with China recently surpassing Singapore for the first time.
As global a footprint as Ho may have however, she has her feet firmly planted on Singapore soil and is committed to this tiny city-state where she was not only educated (excluding a year at Stanford) but has remained throughout her long and illustrious career – first as an engineer at the Ministry of Defence in 1976, where she met her husband, and most notably as CEO of Singapore Technologies, where she spent a decade, and where she is credited with repositioning and growing the group into the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia.
It’s little wonder Ho has featured on Forbes’ annual World’s Most Powerful Women list for the past 16 years, in 2007 as the third most powerful woman in business outside the US, and in 2020 at #30 worldwide.
But it’s not all business. Ho has a strong track record in Singapore public service, serving as chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and as deputy chairman of the Economic Development Board; and is a committed philanthropist with a focus on learning difficulties and healthcare.
As the pandemic kicked off, she not only led active investments in technology and life sciences, with German COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNTech among the most recent additions to Temasek’s portfolio, but through the Temasek Foundation – the firm’s philanthropic arm which supports vulnerable groups close to Ho’s heart, handed out hand sanitiser and face masks.
So, you would be forgiven for thinking that at age 68, Ho might simply relax. But in March 2021, just as she announced her retirement from Temasek, Ho joined the Board of Directors of Wellcome Leap, a US-based non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to accelerating innovations in global health. Not ready to put her firmly grounded feet up yet it seems.