India is the third largest and the fastest growing domestic aviation market in the world in terms of number of domestic tickets sold, said the 2017-18 Economic Survey, which was tabled today in the Parliament.
The survey added that domestic passenger departures grew by 23.5 per cent in 2016-17, as compared to 3.3 per cent in the US and 10.7 per cent in China. From 2007-08 to 2016-17, the domestic passenger traffic grew by a compound annual growth rate of 9.89 per cent.
“In 2017-18 (April – September), domestic airlines carried 57.5 million passengers, with a growth rate of 16 per cent over the corresponding previous year period. Scheduled Indian and foreign carriers carried 29.2 million passengers to and from India, and showed a growth rate of 9 per cent in 2017-18 (April – September) over the corresponding previous year period,” said the Survey.
The cargo segment also grew handsomely in the year. The domestic air cargo handled was 0.61 million metric tons, a growth of 10.27 per cent over the corresponding previous year. International air cargo grew by 19 per cent to 1.07 million metric tons.
The Economic Survey also listed out the 18 new airports that will come up in the country. “Government has granted in-principle approval,” said the Survey.
The 18 new airports include those in Mopa in Goa, Navi Mumbai, Shirdi and Sindhudurg in Maharashtra, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Hasan and Shimoga in Karnataka and Kannur in Kerala. Apart from these, the Government has granted “site clearance” for five greenfield airports: Machiwara in Punjab, Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh, Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, Alwar in Rajasthan and Kothagudem in Telangana.
Separately, the Government has allotted Rs 4,500 crore for revival of 50 unserved and underserved airports/air strips. These will be completed by December 2018. But the Survey added that the “revival of airstrips/airports will be ‘demand driven’, depending upon firm commitment from airline operators a well as from the state governments.”
The growth in the aviation sector has helped in expanding the country’s tourism sector. “Outbound tourism has also picked up in recent years, with the number of departures of Indian nationals from India growing by 7.3 per cent to 21.9 million during 2016, from 20.4 million in 2015,” said the Survey.
“This is more than double the foreign tourist arrivals in India. Domestic tourist visits grew by 12.7 per cent to 1,614 million in 2016 from 1,432 million in 2015,” it added.moneycontrol