Growth opportunities for airlines are tremendous as passenger volume will double from 200 million currently to 400 million over the next seven to 10 years", said Jyotiraditya Scindia, Union Minister for Civil Aviation on Tuesday.
Speaking at an ASSOCHAM event on CEOs' Roundtable discussion, the Minister said that aviation is competing closely with the railways in the air-conditioned segment.
"The railways today carries 125 million passengers in 1st and 2nd AC, airlines on the other hand carried 144 million domestic travellers before the pandemic and in the next 5 to 10 years, civil aviation will carry the bulwark of transportation for this limited section," the Minister said.
Railways is growing at 5.6 per cent CAGR while civil aviation is growing at 10.3 per cent CAGR, the Union Minister said.
Talking about the growth, Scindia said that from a fleet size of roughly 400 aircrafts in 2013-2014, it has grown to about 700 aircrafts now. And it can go up to 1,200 in the next 5 years.
"We had just 74 airports in 2013-2014, we have added 67 airports in the past 8 years alone. Much of the growth in the future is going to come from the regional airports, the growth rate in metro airports is about 7.8 per cent in 2010-2015 and has remained in that vicinity. Growth in non-metro airports has jumped from 10.8 per cent in 2010-2015 to 31 per cent at present. The government is continuously working to put in place new policies and removing impediments to enable faster growth of the industry," he added.
Speaking in the interactive session, Ajay Singh, Senior VP ASSOCHAM & CMD SpiceJet said: "The government and Civil Aviation minister has been very proactive in engaging with the sector, they have given us their time and have been aggressively espousing the requirements of the sector. We have been talking about this whole concept of taxes on fuel for the longest time and it is Minister Scindia who has reached out to the states and got many of them to reduce the VAT on fuel from 25-30 per cent to 0-5 per cent. The success of the Regional Connectivity Scheme, success of the Air India divestment too can be attributed to the minister."
Deepak Sood, Secretary General ASSOCHAM delivering his welcome speech, said: "This platform is crucial for the aviation sector as an enabler of growth and aviation will play a significant role in the development of India as a nation. The sector is hit hard by the pandemic and is currently under stress, but it has shown resilience and has regained the growth trajectory."