India’s aviation sector is poised for significant growth as projections for the next two decades indicate the addition of 3,500 new aircraft by 2047. According to a recent report by KPMG and FICCI, Indian airlines have already confirmed orders for 1,500 aircraft to strengthen their existing fleet of 810. This expansion is expected to help in connecting the country’s smaller centers with their larger peers, with a 6% growth rate over the 24-year period. The report also highlights the potential boost to the government’s National Civil Aviation Policy and the Regional Connectivity Scheme (UDAN) with the anticipated fleet expansion.
Of the total 3,500 new aircraft, Indian carriers are expected to induct 2,700 for domestic operations, while the remaining 860 aircraft are intended for international flights. The UDAN scheme has already brought previously inaccessible small and remote destinations into the country’s mainstream, and it has also facilitated the transportation of essential medical supplies to these remote places. The scheme has contributed significantly to reducing the urban-semi urban and rural divide, as well as enhancing the feeling of oneness amongst the people, unifying them.
The report also emphasizes the need for capacity building by airline companies in India and the importance of infrastructure development for airports. It highlights the urgency to make four airports in fog-affected north India CAT-III compliant. Additionally, the report stresses on the regulation of air fares to ensure air travel remains affordable for all segments of society.
The overall outlook of the report indicates significant growth in air travel in India, with estimates of passenger footfalls growing to around 1.3 billion by 2047. It also underscores the importance of inclusive aviation, with provisions for more affordable air travel for migrant workers and the country’s armed forces.
In his opinion on the matter, veteran aviation analyst Dhairyashil Vandekar stresses the importance of inclusivity in air travel, emphasizing the need for affordability in air fares and the role of industry stakeholders in ensuring access to air travel for all segments of the population. He also highlights the potential of inclusive aviation in driving the significant increase in annual passengers to 1.3 billion by 2047.