The number of flyers in India is more than those traveling in AC coaches of trains, documents released to mark the fourth anniversary of the Narendra Modi government show.
With India emerging as the third largest aviation market, air passenger traffic growth has been in the range of 18-20 per cent over the past three years. “For the first time, more people traveled in airplanes than in AC trains,” according to the document, titled ‘saaf niyat, sahi vikas’ (clean intent, right development).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while presenting the government’s report card at a rally in Cuttack last Saturday, had drawn the people’s attention to the rapid growth of the civil aviation sector in the country. The Aviation Ministry is targeting a five-fold increase in passenger trips to one billion per annum in 15-20 years. The civil aviation sector will also see the addition of 1,000 aircraft in the Indian skies in the coming decade from about 55o aircraft at present.
The document also said domestic air passenger crossed 100 million in 2017. It said the National Civil Aviation Policy 2016 has been unveiled to transform the sector. Under the present dispensation, the Civil Aviation Ministry had launched the Regional Connectivity Scheme or UDAN to provide air connectivity to smaller towns and hilly terrains at affordable prices.
The ministry has claimed the scheme as a major success and taking the number of operational airports in the country to about 100.