Civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu today said that average airfares dropped by 18 per cent in 2017, while the number of passengers flown by the domestic carriers recorded a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19 per cent in FY18 over FY14. In a series of tweets,with hashtag #SaafNiyatSahiVikas (Clean intent, right development), Prabhu also said that his ministry is working on a blueprint for the domestic production of aircrafts under the government’s ‘Make in India’ programme.
“Average airfares fell by 18% in 2017 over average air fare in 2015, making air travel more affordable for everyone,” he said in a tweet. “Indian scheduled airlines carried more than 12 cr domestic passengers during FY18 as against 6.1 cr in FY14, recording growth of 19% CAGR. Strategic policies resulting in enabling more Indians to fly than ever before,” another tweet said. The Modi government had launched the slogan ‘Saaf Niyat, Sahi Vikas’ on its fourth anniversary on May 26, listing out its various achievements in a range of areas.
Significantly, the country registered a double-digit growth in air passenger traffic for the 44th consecutive month at 26.05 per cent in April, on the back of low airfares and capacity addition by domestic airlines. Over the last two years, airfares have remained flat, while fuel prices have doubled, Jet Airways chief executive officer Vinay Dube had recently said. The civil aviation minister in another tweet said that, “Comprehensive aviation capacity expansion program NABH NIRMAN has been envisaged to cater to one billion air passengers over the next decade.”
Under NABH (NextGen Airports for Bharat) Nirman initiative, announced in the 2018-19 Union budget, the government plans to expand airport capacity by more than five times to handle a billion trips a year. “India’s booming aviation&economy nerds >1000 passenger& many more cargo planes. Preparing roadmap under #makeinIndia to eventually manufacture Aircrafts,beginning with components,creating eco system, part of global supply chain.Create jobs,SMEs.Appeal @Airbus @Boeing participate,” Prabhu tweeted further.
The minister, who visited the Toulouse facility of European aviation major Airbus on Friday during his trip to France, asked the company to build planes in India under the Make in India initiative, and contribute to the nation’s growing aviation sector.