According to an aviation report, the domestic aviation sector experienced a substantial monthly growth rate of 23.13% in August 2023, with domestic passenger numbers soaring to 148.27 lakh. This positive trend in passenger growth indicates the industry’s resilience and recovery from the challenges posed by the global pandemic.
- GS2- Government Policies and Interventions for Development
- GS3- Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
The Indian civil aviation sector is on its way to become the stronghold of transportation in India. Comment. (10 marks, 150 words).
Growth of the Indian aviation sector:
- Domestic airlines carried 1,190.62 lakh passengers from January to August 2023, marking a remarkable increase of 38.27% compared to the same period last year.
- Notably, the cancellation rate for August 2023 was an insignificant 0.65%.
- Throughout August 2023, scheduled domestic airlines registered a total of 288 passenger-related complaints, translating to a complaint rate of about 0.23 complaints per 10,000 passengers.
- This notably low complaint and cancellation rate underscore the industry’s commitment to prioritizing customer satisfaction and delivering dependable and efficient services to passengers.
- Commending the aviation sector’s growth, Union Civil Aviation Minister attributed this sustained expansion to the collective efforts of airlines, airports, and the Ministry of Civil Aviation in promoting safe, efficient, and customer-centric aviation.
- As of now, India stands as the world’s third-largest domestic civil aviation market, trailing behind China and the US.
- The number of domestic passengers has doubled from 60 million in 2014 to approximately 145 million, accompanied by a significant rise in international air passengers from 23 million to over 35 million.
- Beyond this, the aviation sector’s growth is generating employment and business opportunities in small towns across the country.
Government initiatives in this regard:
- The “UDAN Scheme” has played a crucial role in democratizing India’s civil aviation, introducing numerous first-time fliers.
- Following the success of the UDAN Scheme’s first five years since its launch on April 27, 2017, the Ministry has initiated the 5th round of the Regional Connectivity Scheme – UDAN.
- This initiative aims to further enhance connectivity in remote and regional areas, achieving last-mile connectivity.
- UDAN has substantially increased regional air connectivity, expanding from 74 operational airports in 2014 to 141, with 68 underserved destinations added under the scheme.
- Under UDAN, the goal is to provide air connectivity to unconnected destinations with 1000 routes to 220 destinations by 2026. With 954 routes already allocated to connect 156 airports, over one crore passengers have benefited from the scheme.
The government anticipates welcoming 40 crore passengers through civil aviation in the next 3-4 years. UDAN 5.0, the latest version of the scheme, introduces attractive features, focusing on Category-2 (20-80 seats) and Category-3 (less than 80 seats), removing the 600 km length limit in the first phase and eliminating restrictions on the flight’s distance between origin and destination. This development signals the potential for civil aviation to become a robust mode of transportation in India alongside rail and road transport.