Union Civil Aviation Minister Syed Shahnawaz Hussain said in Patna on Wednesday that the US-Iraq war has badly affected India's aviation industry. He fears the situation is likely to worsen in the event of a prolonged war.
"The ongoing war in Iraq has affected the aviation industry with drastic drop in air traffic and cancellation of flights by some major international airlines," Shahnawaz told the reporters.
Before leaving for New Delhi, he told newspersons in Patna that the war has drastically affected Air-India, which was on the threshold of achieving a profit of Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion).
"Air-India was targeted to achieve a profit of Rs 100 crore by the end of the current financial year for the first time after a many years of losses, but the war in Iraq has come as a major set back," Shahnawaz said, adding, "before the war we were hopeful of achieving the estimated target but now it appears impossible."
Shahnawaz said KLM, a major international airline, has cancelled all its flights to India, the number of foreign visitors has reduced and there are hardly a few passengers for Gulf and Arab countries.