Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel today expressed the hope that the airline industry is likely to rebound soon.

“I hope the sector will certainly revive in 2011,” Patel told reporters here.

The aviation sector suffered setbacks all over the world in 2008-2009 due to global recession, high fuel prices and load factor, he said, adding that the bad patch is almost over and we are looking forward to growth now.

“There was a drop of 30 per cent in passenger load factor leading to losses in many top airlines in the world, including British Airways. But last quarter of 2009 has again raised some hopes of revival,” Mr. Patel said.

When asked about the Parliamentary Committee’s criticism of the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines, Mr. Patel said, “It is a baseless story. My ministry has already issued a clarification on the same day.”

On the proposed maintenance repair overhaul (MRO) facilities of aircraft manufacturing major Boeing in the city, Mr. Patel said the company was in the process of setting up a USD 100-million project soon.

To a question, he said Air India will soon resume the Nagpur-Dubai flight, which was discontinued last month. Necessary instructions have been issued, he added.

Air India is in the process of launching a cargo hub soon in Nagpur, while Deccan Aviation has already commenced one from the city, Patel said.