Cost of air travel in India is Rs 5 per km, equivalent to auto-fares: Jayant Sinha

"The demand for aviation in India is literally, going through the roof. The reason is aviation in India has hit rail parity... The price of flying now is equal to price of travelling in air-conditioned coaches of Indian Railways," said Jayant Sinha.

Written by Avinash Nair | Ahmedabad | Published:July 14, 2017 7:07 pm


Aviation industry, Indian aviation industry, India aviation, India aviation industry, Jayant Sinha Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha (File)

Stating that “affordability” is driving the demand in India’s aviation sector, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said on Friday the cost of long-distance air travel in the country is Rs 5 per kilometer which is equivalent to auto-rickshaw fares. “Affordability is driving the demand. Because of the continued stability in the Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) prices, which constitute 30-40 percent of the flying cost and because the aviation technology is moving quickly, flying continues to be very affordable and therefore you will continue to see strong demand for aviation going forward,” said Sinha at the inaugural session of the Gujarat Aviation Conclave 2017 organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Stressing that air travel in India has “hit rail-parity”, the minister said, “In fact, some people have calculated that the cost of flying is about Rs 5 per kilometer on a typical (Airbus) 320 or a (Boeing) 737. Ladies and gentlemen, that is the cost of taking an autorickshaw… For long distance travel, flying is extremely affordable and extremely cost-effective.”

“The demand for aviation in India is literally, going through the roof. The reason is aviation in India has hit rail parity… The price of flying now is equal to price of travelling in air-conditioned coaches of Indian Railways,” he said explaining that 16 crore people in India either travelled on a domestic or international flight last fiscal, compared to 13 crore people who travelled in air-conditioned rail coaches.

The minister also said that airline operators in India currently operate about 500 aircrafts. “Orders for another 850 planes have already been placed, of which 400 will come in the next five years,” Sinha said. He, however, said that India with 160 million passenger trips a year had a long way to go before catching up with China which has 500 million passenger trips and United States which has 900 passenger trips.

Apart from this, the minister said that India will also be buying about “600 warplanes” in the next 10 years.

Meanwhile, in a separate development, a senior official of Airbus Group said that it will deliver one aircraft per week to airline operators in India for the next 10 years. “With over 260 flying aircraft with carriers and an order backlog of over 550 aircraft, we will deliver an average of one aircraft per week to the Indian air carriers for the next 10 years,” said Ashish Saraf, vice-president, industry development, strategic partnerships and offsets, Airbus Group India Pvt Ltd.

“Airbus’s own global market forecast projects that India will be need around 1600 new passenger and freighter aircraft to meet the growing demand of the civil aviation sector by 2030. Our global market forecast puts India’s growth at around double the world’s average consistently over the next 20 years. It all translates into more jobs and opportunities…,” Saraf added.

He said that all Airbus aircraft are partly made in India. “Critical components like flap-track beams which are safety critical and flight critical, safety evacuation slides and actuation systems are Made in India. Our sourcing has crossed USD 500 million per year and committed to growing it in next few years,” the Airbus official said.

GK Ahukiyal, executive director-RCS, Airport Authority of India (AAI) pointed out domestic airline operators like Indigo has ordered 50 ATRs, while others like Spice Jet has also ordered new aircraft. Amitabh Khosla, country director (India), International Air Transport Association (IATA) said that India was poised to emerge as the third largest air passenger market by 2023.

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  1. A
    Ashwani Goel
    Jul 15, 2017 at 11:17 am
    माननीय सिन्हा साहब, इस देश के ज्यादातर लोग मौजूदा सरकार की बहुत इज्जत करते हैं, और इस जिम्मेदार सरकार के किसी भी मंत्री के द्वारा, विशेष रूप से आपके मुख से ऐसे असंगत तर्क बिलकुल अच्छे नहीं लगते। भला बताइये, आप एक छोटे शहरी साधन की तुलना, उस से सौ गुना सीटों वाले दूरगामी वाहन से कैसे कर सकते हैं? कैब शहर में 20/- KM में चलती है, शहर से बाहर ले जाओ तो 10/- KM में, जबकि वही वाहन है , उतनी ही सीटें हैं। ये तो केवल दूरी का गणित है, फिर सीटों का गणित लगाइये। सिन्हा साहब सच्चाई ये है की विदेशों में हवाई यात्रा अभी भी हमारे देश से बहुत सस्ती है। उदहारण के लिए newyork से los angeles की हवाई दूरी (सड़क या रेल नहीं) 4000 KM के आस पास है, और 25000/- में खुला टिकट मिलता है हवाई यात्रा का, यानि 6/- KM, जबकि वंहा newyork में कैब का किराया $1 यानि 65/- KM है। यानि आपके तर्क से चलें तो अमेरिका में हवाई यात्रा वंहा की कैब से 1 /10 गुने से भी कम है। भारत में ऐसा कब तक हो जायेगा ?
    1. T
      Jul 14, 2017 at 11:20 pm
      This Government is full of P E A C O C K S 😭
      1. R
        Rajiv Ranjan
        Jul 14, 2017 at 10:44 pm
        This minister is out of mind. Rickshaw charges Rs. 20 for 1 km. This means Air travel is cheaper than Hand rickshaw. Para e leaders speak like this.
        1. D
          deepak sankhla
          Jul 14, 2017 at 11:59 pm
          Mumbai to Delhi distance is approx 1000 KMs and the airfare is less than 5000. Isn't it less than 5rs/km??
        2. R
          Jul 14, 2017 at 10:27 pm
          Why not shared auto? It feels like it for sure!
          1. Z
            Zpatel Patel
            Jul 14, 2017 at 8:24 pm
            What about some passengers who had to pay the extra cost with their lives recently ?
            1. D
              deepak sankhla
              Jul 14, 2017 at 11:59 pm
              Are you talking about P.a.k.istan airlines??
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