Minister of Civil Aviation and Steel, Jyotiraditya M Scindia, said that to date, India has already crossed figures of 4.56 lakh domestic passengers in a day, compared to the time when the country’s airports were devoid of a single passenger.
India will have more than 140 million passengers in FY 2024 alone, he declared. “In the six years from FY 2014 to FY 2020 the number of domestic passengers has more than doubled from 120 million to about 275 million at a CAGR of 14.5 per cent and had there been no Covid outbreak, we would have reached a CAGR of about 18 to 20 per cent,” the minister commented.
Speaking about the scope of further growth, Scindia added that India is the third largest domestic market in the world in terms of seat capacity, but in terms of international seat capacity, it is still ranked at the 18th position. “The prospect for long-term consistent growth in the market seems very strong,” he added.
He added that the government has been taking unprecedented steps to create capacities, remove bottlenecks and simplify processes so that the nation can have the requisite aviation infrastructure in place.
“The focus is to ensure that in 2047 when the nation celebrates 100 years of its independence, it has an aviation system that can support USD 20 Trillion economy. The government has doubled the number of airports in the last 8.5 years, increasing from 74 in 2014 to 148 now,” he said.
India’s real GDP is expected to grow to about 252 trillion rupees in FY 2030 and GDP per capita will have increased from that of a lower middle-income country to an upper middle-income country. India is witnessing increasing urbanisation and it is expected to increase from 34.9 per cent in 2020 to a projected 40 per cent in 2030.
Taking a cue from that, Scindia stated that the disposable income of middle and high-income households is rising much faster than the national average. “India is going to have one of the largest young populations in the World, which usually has a greater propensity to travel,” he said.
Speaking about the government’s focus on making Indian aviation an integral part of Global Supply Chains, Scindia said that with the Indian carriers expected to order about 1500 to 1700 aircraft in near future, the time is ripe to work towards “making India an Aerospace Manufacturing base.”
“The launch of private manufacturing for the C-295 transport aircraft by the Airbus-Tata joint venture is a major stride towards achieving the goal of self-reliance. At the same time, we have taken steps to ensure that we develop an ecosystem for MROs for aircraft. There has been significant growth in MROs since we reduced GST- by 25 per cent,” he explained.
Scindia also urged the MRO industry to ‘think big, think global, and act global’, citing that the sector has a turnover of close to USD two billion but the work is limited to 15 to 20 per cent of the market today, which he said needs to be fully tapped into.
Further, to augment Pilot training capacity in the long run, the government has liberalised the FTO policy as a result of which, there is a proliferation of FTOs in the country. Adding to this, the minister said that there are currently 35 FTOs, nine others are coming up at five airports.
“Six FTO slots have been awarded by AAI at five airports which will be operational by December 2023, taking the number up to 50,” Scindia added.
Additionally, Scindia also spoke about the size of the Drone market which he said is projected to increase from INR 2900 crore to about INR 77,300 crore in 2025 at a CAGR of 80 per cent.
The Civil Aviation Minister was addressing the audience during the CAPA India’s Aviation Summit 2023 which kickstarted yesterday and will go on till March 22.