Cruising New Heights
Led by strong domestic demand, favourable government policy and a benign fuel outlook, the Indian aviation industry has emerged as one of the fastest growing aviation market in the world. According to IATA, India’s civil aviation market is set to become the world’s third largest by 2020 and expected to be the largest by 2030. IATA’s estimate is based on the consistent growth being witnessed by the industry. The data from Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) states that India’s air passenger traffic has registered a growth of at least 16 per cent annually in the last decade. The number of passengers rose from 1.40 crore in 2000-01 to 13.5 crore in 2016. In 2015-16, the number of domestic passengers grew almost 22 per cent, recording a traffic of 13.1 crore passengers. However, IATA feels that the very strong upward trend in traffic has slowed since the country’s unexpected ‘demonetisation’ in November 2016. India’s streak of year-on-year double-digit traffic growth may have ended with June, IATA opined.
Various market reports suggest that India is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing air travel markets. In CY2014, India’s air travel market was the sixth largest in the world as measured by total domestic seats (97.3 million) and ninth largest in the world by total domestic and international seats (155.9 million), according to CAPA data published in June 2015. According to an Airbus Report titled ‘Flying on Demand’ (2014), the domestic aviation market is forecast to be the world’s fastest growing with revenue passenger kilometers growing at a CAGR of 9.5 per cent between 2013 and 2033.
P Ashok Gajapathy Raju, Union Minister for Civil Aviation, said in a release that scheduled domestic flight movements rose from 7 lakh in 2014 to 8.2 lakh in 2016, an 8.2 percent CAGR growth. As against 395 aircraft in the fleet of Indian carriers, there are 496 aircrafts in operation today, and another 654 are under purchase.