Trebling of air passenger demand by 2037 with 500 million people expected to fly
The recent growth forecasts for India indicates a trebling of air passenger demand by 2037 when some 500 million people are expected to fly to, from or within India. Already Indian aviation supports 7.5 million jobs and US$30 billion of GDP (1.5% of the economy).
Thus, at the recently concluded International Aviation Summit in New Delhi, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) urged the Government of India to maximize the potential contribution of aviation to India’s development by addressing infrastructure constraints that limit growth and government policies that impose excessive costs on aviation.
The International Aviation Summit held in New Delhi on September 3-4, 2018, was co-hosted by the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), the Airports Authority India (AAI) and IATA. The joint Summit commemorated the approaching milestone of 50-straight months of double digit domestic growth for Indian aviation.
It was deliberated in the Summit that global connectivity that only aviation can provide is a critical driver of all modern economies. The financial struggles of India’s airline industry put the stable development of connectivity at risk. And India’s carriers are suffering a “double-whammy” of steeply rising fuel costs and the decline in the value of the Indian Rupee. The rise in fuel costs is particularly acute for Indian carriers for which fuel makes-up 34% of operating costs – well above the global average of 24%.
“While it is easy to find Indian passengers who want to fly, it’s very difficult for airlines to make money in this market. India’s social and economic development needs airlines to be able to profitably accommodate growing demand. We must address infrastructure constraints that limit growth and government policies that deviate from global standards and drive up the cost of connectivity,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
India’s aviation infrastructure has benefitted from significant upgrades in recent years. “It is clear that India has the capacity to develop effective infrastructure. But the job is not done. Passenger numbers will grow. And infrastructure must not be a bottleneck in fulfilling the needs of travelers and the economy,” said de Juniac who called for work in four priority areas:
IATA encouraged the Indian government to support the broad implementation of IATA’s One ID initiative which uses biometric identification (similar to India’s Aadhar identity card) to save time by eliminating the need for repeated