With Akasa Air all set to begin services on Sunday, Scindia said that it is an important day in the history of civil aviation in India. Backed by ace investor Rakesh Jhunjhuwala and aviation sector veterans Aditya Ghosh and Vinay Dube, Akasa Air operated its first flight from Mumbai to Ahmedabad and the flight was flagged off by the union minister.
In an interview, Scindia acknowledged that in the last two decades, airlines have faced multiple internal issues, and have struggled to function, with seven airlines being shut down over the last 20 years.
The Covid pandemic also significantly impacted the civil aviation sector and is now on the recovery path, with Akasa Air being the first. According to Scindia, following Akasa Air, a reborn and a re-invented Air India, all signs point to the fact the civil aviation sector is going to be a growing market.
According to reports, there will be almost 40 crores air travelers in India, bot domestic and international by 2027.
The number of air travelers grew from around 6 crores in 2013-14 to about 20 crores in 2019-20. The sector has experienced an almost 250 percent increase in travelers over the past five years.
“Our forecast is that by 2027, you will have 40 crore travellers in India (both domestic and international). That is the kind of growth potential we are looking at in terms of passengers,” the minister said.
The number of aircrafts have also increased. There were about 400 aircrafts in 2013 and the number increased to 700 in 2021-22.
Scindia emphasized on growth in the market, fleet and airports, stating that India is going to add 15 percent capacity, which boils down to a 100 or 110 aircrafts per year and it is looking to at close to 1,200 aircrafts by 2027.
There is an increase in the number of airports as well. As of the last 8 years, the number of airports have gone up to 141, from just 74 airport in 2013-14. The goal is to have 220 airports ready for business by 2030, with infrastructural growth in the form of service capabilities, airlines and passengers.
The minister also said that the day is not far when the civil aviation sector will become a very strong foundation and bulwark of the transportation industry in India.