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Air passenger traffic in India expected to reach 300 million by 2030: Scindia

Hyderabad: The number of domestic air passengers in India is expected to double to about 300 million annually by 2030 and the country would still have a vast untapped market, Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Thursday.

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Speaking at the inaugural session of Wings India 2024, a civil aviation conclave and exhibition here, Scindia said India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the last decade has been a “shining star” on the global firmament of civil aviation.

He said the number of airports and waterdromes will go up to over 200 from the existing 149 in the country.

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With 300 million passengers a year in 2030, India’s aviation penetration would be at 10-15 per cent and still be a potential market in the decades to come.

“That is the potential that India holds not only to herself and Asia, but to the world. …even with achieving 300 million domestic passengers by 2030, we will still be one of the most under-penetrated markets across the top 20 in the world. Today our penetration is roughly about 3 to 4 per cent that will grow to about 10 to 15 per cent. We still have 85 per cent penetration to go,” he said.

Under the guidance of PM Modi, steps have been taken to create capacities, remove bottlenecks and simplify processes and procedures and ensure that in 2047, the aviation sector in the country supports a USD 20 Trillion economy in the country, Scindia said.

He noted that the domestic air passenger traffic witnessed 15 per cent growth (CAGR) while international air passenger traffic was 6.1 per cent, in the last decade.

According to Scindia, today India is the third largest domestic civil aviation market in the world and the seventh largest international civil aviation market in the world. If both domestic and international are combined, then India is the fifth largest civil aviation market in the world.

“Our domestic cargo traffic over the past 15 years has grown by close to 60 per cent and our international cargo traffic, by close to 53 per cent. And it is our considered opinion and that of industry consultants that domestic traffic, which was 153 million in the last calendar year, up from 60 million in 2014, will grow to 300 million by 2030,” he said.

On the fleet size in the country, Scindia said it has grown from 400 to over 700. “Today, India has become the largest purchaser of aircraft in the world after the US and China. Our fleet size is going to grow from 713 to upwards of 2,000 in the next decade.”

Observing that 74 airports were built in 65 years, he said the government has modernised and built an additional 75 airports, waterdromes and heliports in the past 10 years.

“It is our target, that by 2030, we will take that number from 149 to upwards of 200 airports, waterports and heliports in our country,” he said.

Scindia also marked the occasion by launching the Udan 5.3 scheme.

“This regional connectivity scheme has truly transformed the arena and our sector… Today, under Udan, infrastructure has been built at 76 airports, waterdromes and heliports. Close to 517 new routes have been operationalised that could not have been dreamt of in the past,” he said.

The total number of Commercial Pilot Licenses (CPLs) given out in the country was 1,622 in 2023 which surpassed the previous best figure of 1,165 CPLs clocked in 2022, which is an increase of 40 per cent, the minister added.

Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation General (retd) V K Singh and Telangana Roads and Buildings Minister K Venkat Reddy also spoke on the occasion.

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