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NEW DELHI : India’s air passenger traffic may begin to recover from July on hopes that the coronavirus pandemic will start receding and vaccinations will pick up pace even though it may take up to a year for full recovery, said senior executives at airlines and travel agencies.

Online travel company EaseMyTrip’s marketing head Vikash Goyal said he expects air ticket bookings and tourism activity to pick up from the middle of July. “It has been over a year that the majority of the people have travelled, and we expect that tourism will see a boost starting July 2021 once the fear in the minds of people subsides," Goyal added.

Vaccinating a large section of the population quickly will be key to the recovery of the aviation sector and the economy as a whole, a top airline executive said on condition of anonymity.

“There is perhaps a fear in the minds of many of contacting the virus during travel," the executive said.

Air travel crashed in April and May as the pandemic flared up, with people avoiding business and leisure trips and limiting travel to essential purposes.

Directorate General of Civil Aviation data showed that about 5.72 million domestic passengers flew in April, down nearly 27% from 7.83 million in March. On 18 May 2021, airlines operated 641 domestic flights, carrying 39,370 passengers, similar to 25 May 2020, said aviation analyst Ameya Joshi, also the founder of aviation website NetworkThoughts. He said airlines had operated 532 flights carrying 39,231 passengers on 25 May last year.

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