As many as 3.82 lakh passengers undertook air travel daily in the last seven days, giving hopes of revival of the sector scarred by Covid-19, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said as he set a target of nearly tripling total passenger traffic by 2023-24 to 40 crore. Scindia further said that at a time when the airline industry world over is facing turbulence, two new airlines, Jet and Akasa, will soon launch their services.
Replying to the Demands for Grants, 2022-23, for the Ministry of Civil Aviation he said that the government has brought about a paradigm shift, a structural change in the sector in the last two years and it will focus on inclusion, access and affordability to increase demand among common man.
The total number of passenger travelled increased from 6.70 crore in 2013-14 to 14.50 crore in 2018-19. The number of planes too increased from 400 from 2013-14 to 710 by 2018-19. As per DGCA data, 8.38 crore people travelled on domestic flights in 2021, as compared to 6.3 crore in 2020 – the year which saw the outbreak of Covid-19.
Scindia said the aviation sector started to look up post the second Covid wave and the number of air travellers in the country increased to 3.90 lakh per day in November 2021, compared to 4.15 lakh per day in pre-Covid times.
“But, due to Omicron it came down 1.60 lakh per day. I am happy to report that in last seven days we are again back to 3.82 lakh per day. There is a hope of revival and based on that we expect that by 2023-24 we will take the number of 40 crore,” he said.
Scindia said the aviation sector’s competitiveness can be compared to AC-1 and AC-2 services of Indian Railways. Last year, 18.5 crore people travelled AC-1 and 2. Till 2014, there were 74 airports in the country and in the last seven years, 66 new airports were added. So, the total number of airports in the country now stands at 140. “Our resolve is to take this number up to 220 by 2025,” Scindia said.