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Indian Flag has to Fly in International Space, Minister urges Airlines to go International
May 24, 2023

Indian Flag has to Fly in International Space, Minister urges Airlines to go International


Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, Minister of Civil Aviation and Steel, said that civil aviation today has become the foundation and basis of economic growth across the length and breadth of the country. The Union Minister was addressing a session on ‘Transforming the Aviation Sector’ at the CII Annual Session 2023, being held on 24-25 May in New Delhi. Shri Scindia said that it is imperative for states to grow the number of airports and improve airline connectivity.

Civil aviation brings a dividend of 3.1 per cent in terms of economic growth and 6.1 per cent in employment growth, the minister said. He noted that the civil aviation sector in India is on the cusp of fundamental change. “Every industry in the world goes through stages of infancy, growth and maturity. Civil aviation in India is just about in its take-off stage, as far as its growth phase is concerned,” Shri Scindia said.

Urging domestic airlines to go international, Shri Scindia said that airlines must take risks and face volatility. “In the domestic market, margins are slim and competition is fierce, but airlines are happy to compete as volatility is low. In international markets, revenues are higher, but volatility is also greater. I plead with airlines to take risks and face volatility. Because India’s flag has to fly on the international space,” he said.

The minister noted that Air India’s order for 470 aircraft is the largest order ever placed in civil aviation history internationally. He said that the Prime Minister has democratized civil aviation in the country and added that the government is putting a huge thrust on last mile connectivity. “In the last four to five years, civil aviation has had a compounded annual growth of 10.6 per cent. In 2013-14, we had roughly 6 crore passengers domestically, which has grown to 14.4 crore now. We had 74 airports, waterdromes and heliports in the country in 2013-14. In a period of nine years, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we have doubled that number,” he said.

Shri Scindia said that the role of the government is not of a regulator but to be a facilitator, to get all stakeholders on board and resolve their pain points. In resolution of their pain points and creating a facilitative environment for them to grow, lies the growth of India and its civil aviation sector, he added.

Talking about airports and connectivity being based on industrially- and tourism-prominent cities, he said that this notion has now turned on its head. Today, industrialists and tourists flock to where there are airports and connectivity, he said. The minister highlighted the need to set up an airline civil aviation ecosystem in India and added that important verticals related to aviation need to be set up in India, like maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), flying training organizations, ground handling, etc.

“I see no reason why India cannot be a leader in aerospace manufacturing over the next 15-20 years,” he said, adding that India has the right market, capability and is the largest-growing market in the world. The minister also said that it is about time to set up an international civil aviation hub in India.

Salil Gupte, Chairman, CII National Committee on Aerospace and President, Boeing India, said that this is the time for India to turbocharge its growth with around 2,200 airplanes that are going to come into the country in the next 20 years. “In order to do that, we need to localize, training, parts and MRO services,” he said. Gupte added that the focus in manufacturing needs to be on moving from building on foreign OEMs’ blueprint, to developing blueprints themselves and owning the intellectual property in India.

Bhaskar Bhat, Co-Chair, ClI National Committee on Civil Aviation and Chairman, Vistara, noted that there is a need to think about aviation, along with tourism and hospitality, to push economic growth and employment. R Dinesh, President Designate, CII, moderated the session.


24 May 2023

New Delhi

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