It is a very well known fact that aviation sector not only brings immense benefits to communities and economies around the globe, but also is a key catalyst of economic growth, social development and tourism. It facilitates connectivity and access to international markets. Air transport currently supports 56.6 million jobs and accounts for over US$ 2.2 trillion of the global gross domestic product (GDP).
Air passenger traffic in India is increasing on a tremendous pace. The sub-continent’s airport infrastructure is undergoing modernisation with the induction of most advanced facilities. It includes setting up of new Greenfield airports and installation of security, surveillance and air traffic navigation systems.
India is currently the 9th largest aviation market handling 121 million domestic and 41 million international passengers. Today, more than 85 international airlines operate to India and 5 Indian carriers connect over 40 countries.
- Total domestic passengers carried by the scheduled domestic airlines between January and May 2013 were 25.998 million, as against 25.808 million during the corresponding period of previous year thereby registering a growth of 0.74 per cent, revealed the statistics from Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
- No-frill carrier IndiGo lead in terms of market share with 29.7 per cent of the pie, followed by Jet Airways-Jet Lite combine at 25.3 per cent, Air India Domestic at 19.2 per cent, Spice Jet at 17.5 per cent, and Go Air at 8.3 per cent for the month of July 2013.
- The air transport (including air freight) in India has attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) worth US$ 456.84 million from April 2000 to July 2013, as per the data released by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
Key Developments and Investments
- Jet has become the first Indian airline to place an order of fuel-efficient 737 Max aircraft with the plane-maker Boeing. Boeing and Jet have recently inked a purchase agreement wherein Jet has agreed to buy 50 such planes at a cost of around US$ 5 billion. The agreement is still under negotiation (for discounts).
The service of 737-Max is expected to commence by 2017.
- India's first ever aviation university, the Rajiv Gandhi National Aviation University at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh, will start imparting training to aspiring pilots, aircraft engineers and cabin crew in September 2014. The educational entity is a Government organisation that has been developed to acknowledge the industry's chronic talent shortage.
The university will induct 1, 000 students by 2018 and eventually, all flying schools in India will get affiliated to this university.
- The Government of Haryana plans to establish a cargo airport in the state by taking up Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode for the green-field project at Meham in Rohtak. The Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) will be the equity partner for bearing the cost of land acquisition for the project.
- India's first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC), being developed at the Cochin Shipyard, has been launched in August 2013. The 40, 000 tonne-warship machinery is expected to be operational by 2018. It is done with major fittings and underwater work. Now the superstructure, the upper decks and out-fittings are to be worked upon.