Number of domestic fliers in India to touch 125 million in 2017-18, says CAPA

New Delhi: India’s domestic air traffic is expected to grow 18-20% and touch 125 million in the financial year of 2017-2018, said aviation think tank Center for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA). The number of passengers on domestic routes will reach 150 million in 2018-19. According to India’s aviation regulator, there were 117 million domestic passengers in calendar year 2017.
International passengers’ traffic in the country is expected to increase by 12% reaching around 65 million by March 2018 and is expected to touch 75 million by March 2019.
CAPA said that if the government lifts bilateral restrictions for international operations, then the international operations growth would be nearly 15% in three to five years.
According to CAPA, after selecting successful bidders, the national carrier Air India is expected to be privatized by July this year. Revealing the current bidders, who are interested to buy Air India, CAPA said that around six airlines have shown interest. While there are four Indian carriers (Jet Airways, SpiceJet, Indigo and Vistara) who are interested in buying into the airline, two non-aviation companies have shown interest as well.
Speaking on the policy and regulation as the outlook for financial year 2018-2019, Kapil Kaul, South Asia CEO for CAPA said, “DGCA is severely lacking in skills and resources. According to our estimation, the regulator is short of around 800 staff relative of their responsibilities. The aviation ministry has made significant efforts to make changes but has not succeeded. Hence, an independent civil aviation authority (CAA), along the lines of UK is required as soon as possible.”
Indian airlines are expected to induct around 124 to 130 aircrafts by March 2019 — an increase of 25%. Out of this, around 22 aircrafts will be utilised for regional connectivity scheme — ‘Udey Desh ka Aam Naagarik’ (UDAN) which aims to connect smaller urban centers and regions that do not have air connectivity. Around 25 aircrafts are expected to be used for international operations.

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