Average airfares fell by 18% in 2017, says civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu

Average airfares fell by 18% in 2017, says civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu

Mumbai: Civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu on Sunday said that average airfares dropped by 18 per cent in 2017, while the number of passengers flown by the domestic carriers recorded a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19 per cent in FY18 over FY14.

In a series of tweets, with hashtag #SaafNiyatSahiVikas (Clean intent, right development), Prabhu also said that his ministry is working on a blueprint for the domestic production of aircrafts under the government’s ‘Make in India’ programme. “Average airfares fell by 18% in 2017 over average airfare in 2015, making air travel more affordable for everyone,” he said in a tweet.

“Indian scheduled airlines carried more than 12 cr domestic passengers during FY18 as against 6.1 cr in FY14, recording growth of 19% CAGR. Strategic policies resulting in enabling more Indians to fly than ever before,” another tweet said. The Modi government had launched the slogan ‘Saaf Niyat, Sahi Vikas’ on its fourth anniversary on May 26, listing out its various achievements in a range of areas. Significantly, the country registered a double-digit growth in air passenger traffic for the 44th consecutive month at 26.05 per cent in April, on the back of low airfares and capacity addition by domestic airlines.

Over the last two years, airfares have remained flat, while fuel prices have doubled, Jet Airways chief executive officer Vinay Dube had recently said. The civil aviation minister in another tweet said that, “Comprehensive aviation capacity expansion program NABH NIRMAN has been envisaged to cater to one billion air passengers over the next decade.” Under NABH (NextGen Airports for Bharat) Nirman initiative, announced in the 2018-19 Union budget, the government plans to expand airport capacity by more than five times to handle a billion trips a year.

Suresh Prabhu asks Airbus to ‘Make in India’

Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu has asked aerospace major Airbus to manufacture aircraft in India. According to the minister, who also holds the charge of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, a “roadmap” for the same will be worked out. “Visited the Airbus facility in Toulouse, France. Growing Indian aviation sector, stress on regional connectivity leading to more demand for aircrafts. It is also an opportunity for global aircraft manufacturers,” the minister tweeted. “Linking this opportunity with Make In India will lead to more job creation in India while creating win-win for both sides. Impressed upon them to Make In India. We will work on a roadmap.”



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