Government Claims Average Airfares Fall by 18% in India

Narendra Modi launched UDAN – the Regional Connectivity Scheme for civil aviation from Shimla Airport.
Narendra Modi launched UDAN – the Regional Connectivity Scheme for civil aviation from Shimla Airport.

The Indian government claimed today that the civil aviation industry has emerged as one of the fastest growing industries in the country during the last three years.

With a 19 percent growth in domestic passenger traffic from about 6.1 crore in 2014 to 10 crore in 2016-17, India is now the third largest aviation market in the world, the government said in a statement released today.

“What is most impressive about this growth is its inclusive nature defined by the Regional Connectivity Scheme UDAN that has made air travel possible for even the common man in remote areas,” the statement said.

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According to P Ashok Gajapathy Raju, Union Minister for Civil Aviation, his Ministry has worked towards reshaping aviation ecosystem for affordable and convenient flying for everyone by bringing in the National Civil Aviation Policy 2016.

The Minister was briefing the media in New Delhi today, about the achievements of the Civil Aviation Ministry during the last three years. The Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha was also present on the occasion.

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Raju said that average or median airfares fell by 18 percent during 2016-17, making flying more affordable for the common man. Scheduled domestic flight movements also rose from 7 lakh in 2014 to 8.2 lakh in 2016, an 8.2 percent CAGR growth, he said.

As against 395 aircrafts in the fleet of Indian carriers, there are 496 aircrafts in operation today, and another 654 are under purchase.

The Regional Connectivity Scheme UDAN has been by far the most path-breaking achievement of the Ministry, Raju said, adding that 50 airports are being revived and 13 lakh new UDAN seats are being added annually under the first round of UDAN for a Viability Gap Funding of Rs 205 crore.

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Rakesh Raman