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Rise of the Indian Aviation Market

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Rise of the Indian Aviation Market

India has become the third-largest domestic aviation market in the world and is expected to overtake the UK to become the third-largest air passenger market by 2024. Indian aviation also contributed 5% of the GDP, creating a total of 4 million jobs. In addition to it, there is a US$ 72 billion gross value-added contribution to GDP by this industry.

The advantages and significance of the aviation sector can be highlighted by the following ideas:

  • The aviation sector offers global connection, which is crucial for advancing international trade and business. Further, it greatly influences how a nation's economy is shaped by linking it to other nations and continents.
  • It also plays a crucial role in promoting tourism by offering a robust transportation network. The promotion of the tourism industry also helps the economy and employment sector both domestically and globally. Everyone is aware of how the pandemic affected our social lives as well as how the global economy suffered. People get familiar with other people's religions, practices, and cultures as a result of travel. In addition, it also fosters a sense of integrity and cohesion among people.
  • The aviation sector has played an important role in natural catastrophes or even in conflicts. During times of famine, supplies, human transport, and food are all handled by the aviation sector. In addition, a specially outfitted plane responds to forest fires and even protects crops by spraying pesticides and fertilizer on them.
  • The aviation industry not only transports passengers from place to place but also greatly contributes to the transportation of all types of cargo around the world.

India has a vast history in the field of aviation. During the initial years of the Indian aviation industry, the operations of air transport were entrusted to three public undertakings, namely:

  • Air India for international services
  • Indian Airlines for domestic services and services to neighbouring countries

The improved connectivity across the globe has contributed to the growth of the aviation sector at a faster rate. There have been a lot of changes since the inception of the sector, but despite all these, it has always proved its value and considerable power. These values continue to increase because of the vast geographical coverage of the country and the continuous industrial growth. Economic growth, along with the rising working class of the Indian middle class, also contributes to the industry and as a result, the Indian government is planning to set up new airports 220 by 2025.

The government is focussing on building infrastructure with the support of the private sector to make it more feasible with collaboration. Nearly US$ 11.8 billion (INR 98,000 crores) over a four-year period would be spent by the Ministry of Civil Aviation on the construction of new greenfield airports and the development of existing brownfield airports. Out of this, the private sector will contribute US$ 7.5 billion (INR 62,000 crores), while the Indian government will invest US$ 4.3 billion (INR 36,000 crores) through AAI.

Growth of Aviation Sector in India In India, remarkable growth has been noticed in the sphere of civil aviation. The speed and carrying capacity of modern aircraft are providing commendable and far beyond what we used to experience decades ago. India is already among the top 10 aviation markets, serving over 83 million domestic passengers annually, and the volume of air traffic, both in terms of passengers and goods, is growing at a good pace. During April-September 2022, domestic freight traffic increased by 19.9% as compared to the same period of last year.

Here are some of the key facts explaining the growth of Indian aviation:

  • During the month of September 2022:
  • A total of 197.25 thousand aircraft movements (domestic & international) were reported, registering a growth of 34.3% from the previous year
  • Passenger traffic was registered at 24.94 thousand, an increase of 61.6% from the previous year
  • India’s airport capacity is expected to handle 1 billion trips annually by 2023
  • India’s domestic traffic makes up 69% of the total airline traffic in South Asia. Total passenger traffic across the country during April- September 2022 was 150 million.
  • There has been a growth of over 33% in the number of passengers carried by Indian domestic carriers in 2021 as compared to 2020. (838.14 lakh passengers in 2021 while 630.11 lakh passengers in 2020).
  • The country now has about 140 airports, up from 74 in 2013-2014 (including Heliports and water domes). By 2024-2025, the number is expected to reach 220.
  • In 2013-14, there were 400 aircraft in the nation and currently, there are 710 aircraft with more than 100 planes expected to join each year.
  • The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) stated that it is likely to employ 1 lakh more people by 2024, which shows an increase in direct employment from 2.5 lakhs to 3.5 lakhs.

Some of the key factors which will drive the growth of the aviation sector are mentioned below:

1)  Higher Household Income As the GDP of India grew 8.7% in FY 2022 after a contraction of 6.6% during the previous fiscal year, there has been more business travel by professionals and greater leisure travel by individuals due to increasing income groups which drive the consumption pattern in India and primarily based out of urban areas, contributing more to the aviation industry.

2) Entry of Low-cost Carriers (LCC) This is the model which has made air travel affordable for the common man and has been operating in the domestic market since 2004. The market suggests that this model is driving domestic traffic and thus, has shown strong operational performance over the years.

3) Increased FDI Inflows The inflow of FDI contributes to the better development of the infrastructure of the aviation industry.

  • Up to 100% FDI in civil aviation in India is permitted in Non-scheduled air transport services under the automatic route
  • Up to 100% FDI is permitted in helicopter services and seaplanes under the automatic route
  • Up to 100% FDI is permitted in MRO for maintenance and repair organizations; flying training institutes; and technical training institutes under the automatic route
  • Up to 100% FDI in the aviation sector is permitted in Ground Handling Services subject to sectoral regulations & security clearance under the automatic route

4)  Increased Tourist Inflows With the increase in the tourism industry, air travel growth has also increased over the years. For Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTA), air travel is the most chosen mode of transportation. In 2021, out of 1.52 million FTAs in India, 87.5% of individuals entered via air routes, 11.8% via land routes, and 0.7% via sea routes. Around 53.6% of FTAs arrived in India through the Delhi and Mumbai airports. In 2021, tourism's foreign exchange earnings (FEE) were US$ 8.7 billion compared to US$ 6.958 billion in 2020, registering a growth of 26.4%.

5) Development of Modern Airports with New Technologies Modern airports come up with developed infrastructure in terms of speed, capacity, sustainability goals, etc, and hence contribute more to the aviation industry. One of the examples is the newly opened greenfield international airport at Mopa in the state of Goa. It has been developed with an investment of US$ 348 million, the first phase of Mopa International Airport will handle around 4.4 million passengers per annum which can be extended to a saturation capacity of 33 million passengers per annum. This airport has been developed with several sustainable infrastructure plans, including a solar power plant, green buildings, LED lights on the runway, rainwater harvesting, and a modern sewage treatment plant with recycling facilities.

6) Supporting Government Policies Government interventions play a major role in the development of the aviation industry in India. One of the schemes launched by the government in support of the growth of aviation was the UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) scheme which was released in June 2016 with the motive of offering half of the flights at subsidized fares and is expected to be in process for a period of 10 years (till 2026).

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  • The Sky’s the Limit: India's Growing Aviation Industry

growth of air travel in india

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growth of air travel in india

India's aviation industry has undergone significant growth and transformation over the past decade. In the early 2000s, air travel in India was a luxury, only accessible to the affluent few. Today, India has become the third-largest domestic market in the world, behind only the United States and China, with more people choosing to travel by air than ever before. The domestic air traffic has again picked up pace during FY22-23 and is expected to reach around 97 percent of the pre-covid level.

In the past eight years, the number of operational airports in the country has risen from 74 to 140. The government plans to develop and operationalise 220 airports in the next five years. India is currently the seventh largest civil aviation market in the world and is expected to become the third-largest civil aviation market within the next 10 years. 

The growth of the Indian aviation industry has been driven by a combination of factors, including liberalisation of the sector, increased competition, and government initiatives to boost air connectivity. One of the primary drivers of growth in the Indian aviation industry has been the liberalisation of the sector. In the 1990s, the Indian government opened up the aviation industry to private players, which led to the entry of several new airlines. Today, there are several major players in the Indian aviation industry, including IndiGo, SpiceJet, Air India, and Vistara. Another factor that has contributed to the growth of the Indian aviation industry is increased competition. The entry of low-cost carriers like IndiGo and SpiceJet has made air travel more affordable for a larger portion of the population. This has led to an increase in passenger traffic, particularly on domestic routes. In addition, airlines have introduced various incentives and loyalty programs to attract and retain customers.

The Indian Government is proactively supporting the aviation sector by providing a stable policy environment and incentivising competition-led growth.  The Government has approved the 'Revival of unserved and under-served airports' scheme for the revival and development of 100 unserved and under-served airports, helipads, and water aerodromes by 2024. KrishiUdan 2.0 is a scheme that focuses on transporting perishable food products from hilly areas, north-eastern states, tribal areas, and other areas. 58 airports have been identified under this scheme to incentivize movement of air cargo. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) and other airport developers have taken up the development of new and existing airports with a projected capital expenditure of approximately INR 98,000 crore in the next five years. The Union Budget 2023-24 allocated an amount of INR 1,244.07 crore for Regional Connectivity Scheme (UDAN).  The National Civil Aviation Policy is another initiative aimed at promoting growth in the aviation sector by providing incentives for the development of airport infrastructure, reducing taxes, and simplifying regulations. With up to 100 percent FDI permitted in Greenfield and existing airport projects and for MRO (maintenance and repair organisations) under the automatic route, India is attracting investors to the sector. 

Air India made a historic announcement on 14 February 2023 by signing a deal with Boeing and Airbus to buy 470 aircraft worth $ 70 billion, marking the largest order in aviation history. This is also Air India's first order since 2005, and comes at a time when the Indian aviation industry is seeing a surge in passenger traffic. 

Looking ahead, the future of the Indian aviation industry is bright. The sector is expected to see significant growth in the coming years, particularly in the areas of international travel and cargo. The government's continued efforts to boost air connectivity and infrastructure development are expected to further drive the growth of the sector. Additionally, technological advancements, such as the use of artificial intelligence and automation, are expected to bring greater efficiency and cost savings to the industry.  

  • https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/number-of-operational-airports-in-country-rises-to-140-from-74-in-2014-122121000351_1.html
  • https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1895744
  • https://www.financialexpress.com/budget/budget-to-civil-aviation-ministry-reduced-to-rs-3113-36-crore-in-fy-2023-24-a-look-at-details-of-fund-allocation-2969329/
  • https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1776087
  • https://www.cnbctv18.com/aviation/explained-air-india-boeing-deal-impact-on-india-aviation-industry-15948831.htm

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Growth of 42.85% in Passengers Carried by Domestic Airlines

​​​​​​​ monthly growth rate in last one year stands at 22.18% the overall cancellation rate of flights has been only 0.47%.

Remarkable growth in the number of passengers carried by domestic airlines has been noticed. According to the traffic data submitted by various domestic airlines, the number of passengers reached a record-breaking 503.92 lakhs, marking a substantial annual growth of 42.85% compared to the corresponding period of the previous year which was 352.75 lakhs passengers.

This remarkable surge in passenger number reflects the robustness and resilience of India's aviation industry, showcasing the ongoing efforts to enhance connectivity and provide convenient travel options to the citizens of our nation. The increased passenger figures indicate a growing demand for air travel and highlight the positive trajectory of the aviation sector.

Furthermore, the MoM growth rate between April 2022 and April 2023 has increased by 22.18%, underscoring the sustained momentum of the domestic airline industry. This consistent growth is a testament to the collective efforts of airlines, airports, and the Ministry of Civil Aviation in fostering a safe, efficient, and customer-centric aviation ecosystem.

In addition to the commendable growth in passenger numbers, the overall cancellation rate of scheduled domestic flights for the month of April 2023 remained at an impressively low rate of 0.47%. Also, the number of complaints per 10,000 passengers carried for the month of April 2023 has been at a low of around 0.28. This achievement is a result of the meticulous planning, operational efficiency, and proactive measures taken by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and airlines also who have ramped up their operations despite the two-year COVID-19 slowdown to ensure a seamless travel experience for passengers.

According to Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, Union Minister of Civil Aviation and Steel, "The efforts of all involved have been instrumental in driving the growth of the aviation sector and positioning India as a global aviation hub. We are delighted to witness the steady expansion of the domestic airline industry, which not only strengthens our economy but also connects people across the country. The Ministry remains dedicated to fostering a conducive environment for the aviation industry to thrive and will continue to collaborate with stakeholders to facilitate sustainable growth and ensure the highest standards of safety, efficiency, and passenger satisfaction”.

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Giant markets, giant potential – how does India’s air travel development compare with China’s?

India has become one of the hottest markets for aircraft manufacturers as airlines place hundreds of new orders to support growth plans based on India ’s vast untapped demand for air travel. The country will soon have the world’s largest population, yet it is also relatively underserved in terms of airline capacity.

Lured by this dynamic, India ’s airlines have collectively placed significantly more orders than the current fleet size.

Comparing India with China is an interesting exercise, as they now have very similar population sizes, and are both fast growing aviation markets. But China currently has a far greater air service market penetration, which highlights the scope of the potential in India .

This analysis examines some of the similarities and differences between the world’s two largest markets. China has more passenger traffic, but India ’s rate of growth has been at least as high over the past decade. And while China also has a much larger fleet, order numbers are fairly similar.

  • India ’s population is only just behind China ’s, at 1.4 billion, and it will soon be higher.
  • India lags China in terms of GDP and per-capita GDP, and also has much less airline capacity.
  • Long train journeys are common in India , but the country does not yet have true high-speed lines.
  • India and China were both seeing double digit growth rates for most of the decade before the pandemic.
  • China ’s fleet size is far greater than India ’s, although they have similar numbers of aircraft orders.

India ’s population will surpass China ’s, although its economy is still smaller

The United Nations projects that India will overtake China in 2023 to become the most populous country, with an estimated total of more than 1.4 billion. A higher projected growth rate indicates that India ’s lead will continue to grow, according to United Nations studies.

The CIA World Factbook also estimates that India has the second largest population in 2023, just behind China . The Factbook lists India ’s estimated annual growth rate at 0.7%, versus 0.18% for China . This supports the premise that India will overtake China at some point in the near future.

However, India ’s real GDP of USD9.3 trillion is significantly behind China ’s USD24.9 trillion, according to the Factbook. China is first on the rankings and India third, behind the United States of America .

In terms of GDP per capita, China is 99 th in the world, with USD17,600 based on 2021 estimates, and India is 159 th , at USD6,600.

China ’s system seat capacity is currently 3.5 times higher than India ’s

So what does this mean for air travel demand?

Despite China and India having similar population sizes, India has far less airline capacity than China . The higher per-capita GDP likely counts in China ’s favour in this regard.

The chart below shows that India ’s weekly system seat capacity has recovered to 4.9 million, as of 1-May-2023. This includes all airlines, based in India as well as overseas.

The current capacity total is slightly below the 5.1 million seats that were in this market in Feb-2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

India ’s systemwide capacity, as measured in weekly seats, 2019-2023

growth of air travel in india

Source: CAPA - Centre for Aviation and OAG

In contrast, mainland China ’s systemwide seats were at 17.8 million for the week of 1-May-2023 – this is still down from around 19 million in Jan-2020.

Clearly, China has far greater air service relative to its population than India .

Mainland China ’s systemwide capacity, as measured in weekly seats, 2019-2023

growth of air travel in india

CAPA lists India as having 44 airlines and 171 airports.

Mainland China has 84 airlines and 270 airports. Both countries have major airport-building programmes under way.

In India , the construction of new airports in the Mumbai and Delhi markets is particularly important.

Naturally, there are other factors to consider when comparing the two countries. For example, China has a much larger geographic area, making air travel more important on many routes.

The CIA Factbook lists China ’s area as fifth in the world, at 9.6 million square kilometres, and India eighth, at 3.3 million square kilometres.

India ’s high levels of long-distance train travel represent an opportunity for airlines

One important aspect that boosts the potential for air travel growth in India is the huge numbers of people who travel long distances on the country’s vast rail network.

Analyst Craig Jenks, of Airline/Aircraft Projects Inc, notes that rail journey times of 18-36 hours are fairly common in the country.

India has some trains classified as semi-high-speed, but the average speed is still relatively low.

While there is a project under way to start building true high-speed links, the completion of these is still some years away. China ’s high-speed rail development is far more advanced.

As in other countries that are heavily reliant on slow-speed ground transport for long domestic trips, this presents an opportunity for India ’s LCCs in particular.

Passenger traffic was rising quickly in both India and China in the pre-COVID decade

The chart below shows that India ’s passenger traffic was growing rapidly before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Annual growth was at least 15% in seven out of the 10 years from 2010. The growth rate in the other three years was much lower, however.

According to data from the Airports Authority of India , the systemwide – international and domestic – passenger total reached 349.3 million in 2019. This was followed by the drop-off in 2020 and the start of the rebound in 2021 and 2022.

Airports Authority of India : annual passenger totals, with annual growth rate, 2010 to 2022

growth of air travel in india

Source: CAPA - Centre for Aviation and Airports Authority of India

In China there was also strong passenger growth in the decade through 2019, as indicated by data for Chinese airlines from the Civil Aviation Administration of China ( CAAC ).

Annual increases from 2011 through 2018 were in the range of 9-13%, and passenger numbers were up by almost the same proportion as India ’s for the whole period.

The passenger total in 2019 (for Chinese airlines) reached 659.9 million – nearly double India ’s total for that year.

CAAC : annual systemwide traffic, with annual growth rate, 2010 to 2023 YTD

growth of air travel in india

Source: CAPA - Centre for Aviation and CAAC

China ’s fleet is far larger, but order numbers are broadly similar in China and India

There is considerable disparity in fleet sizes. India currently has 701 aircraft in service, with another 120 inactive.

Indian airlines also have 932 aircraft on order. The total does not include the 470 orders placed recently by Air India , and more large orders are expected later in 2023.

However, India ’s total also includes 88 aircraft on order by Go First , which has recently filed for bankruptcy protection.

And the fate of 132 orders attributed to Jet Airways is uncertain, since the airline has been grounded since 2019 and its new owners have yet to set a date for its relaunch.

India ’s aircraft fleet status and orders, as of 15-May-2023

growth of air travel in india

Source: CAPA - Centre for Aviation Fleet Database

In contrast, China has more than 4,000 aircraft in service. While this dwarfs India ’s active fleet, the order numbers are not too far apart when the Air India orders are included.

China ’s aircraft fleet status and orders, as of 15-May-2023

growth of air travel in india

India ’s potential justifies massive orders, although growth challenges cannot be ignored

There is no question that India has huge potential for air travel growth – both domestic and international. The combination of the soon-to-be world’s largest population, relatively low air service levels for its size, and lack of high-speed rail provide a good environment for local airlines.

In the international arena, Indian airlines aim to capture a greater share of the market from the overseas airlines that collectively carry 57% of Indian international traffic.

The country is currently well behind China on the growth curve in terms of airline service and fleet. However, for this reason India likely has the greater scope for expansion. A rapidly expanding backlog of aircraft orders shows that India ’s fleet, while smaller now, is destined for at least as much growth as China ’s. India has a far greater ratio of orders to active aircraft.

The market’s growth potential indicates that the hundreds of aircraft orders placed – and planned – by Indian airlines are justified.

An important caveat is that the rate of expansion must keep pace with the acceleration in demand. In previous years, capacity has outstripped demand growth, depressing yields and causing airlines to struggle financially.

Aviation infrastructure improvement and workforce development must also be a focus, otherwise they could impede air service growth – even if demand is booming.

Significant infrastructure investment is under way, most notably in the airport sector, but workforce could be a tougher problem to solve.

NOTE: A condensed version of this article first appeared in the Jun-2023 edition of our sister publication Air Transport World. This issue includes the features:

Whereto china - boeing 's prospects for aircraft sales in china remain stronger than might be apparent, elevating the experience - some major airlines are ramping up plans to adopt air taxi service, top flight - demand for long-haul first class has picked up. is it a sustainable trend, want more analysis like this.

  • Asia Briefing
  • China Briefing
  • ASEAN Briefing
  • India Briefing
  • Vietnam Briefing
  • Silk Road Briefing
  • Russia Briefing
  • Middle East Briefing
  • Asia Investment Research

Opportunities and Headwinds in India’s Domestic Aviation Industry

India is among the world’s fastest growing aviation markets but its domestic industry is confronting multiple challenges in the near term. The growth of the industry not only represents opportunities for airlines, but for a whole range of companies serving the sector, including those involved in the maintenance, repair, and overhaul of aircrafts.

India is the world’s fourth largest aviation market , behind the US, China, and the UK. It’s a nation of 1.3 billion people, with a growing middle class and an increasing need to enhance regional interconnectivity between states and cities while expanding global links.

Despite the pandemic slowing demand for air travel, particularly in East Asia, India’s civil aviation industry has emerged as one of the fastest growing indigenous sectors in recent years. In fact, this growth means that India will likely overtake the UK to become the third largest air passenger market by 2024.

India has a very competitive civil aviation sector, with numerous airlines looking to increase their market share ahead of a predicted boom in regional air travel. But there are also opportunities for international growth. In fact, Indian airlines were recently presented with a unique opportunity to enhance international market share as domestically registered airlines still enjoy access to valuable Russian airspace. Airlines from many Western and US-aligned nations have had their rights to access Russian airspace rescinded after condemning Moscow’s war in Ukraine.

The India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) contends that the aviation industry will contribute nearly US$500 billion to the Indian economy, through travel and tourism, in 2028 alone. India’s growing demand for air travel creates not only opportunities for airlines, but for maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) operations and other contributing sectors.

Market size and growth

The aviation industry is much larger than it may appear on the surface. In 2018, the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) stated that the global air transport sector supports 65.5 million jobs and US$2.7 trillion in global economic activity. Over 10 million people work directly for the industry itself, the organization highlighted.

The group also claims that aviation jobs are, on average, 4.4 times more productive than other jobs in the economy. The industry supports businesses and the development of other sectors such as tourism.

The industry creates millions of jobs on the ground in a variety of interconnected sectors, from air traffic control to airport management and MRO. However, demand for passenger air travel and trade are the key drivers of the industry.

Passenger travel in India

Demand for air travel is growing in India, and there are a few reasons for this beyond its burgeoning population. The nation has a rising working population and widening middle-class demography that is expected to boost demand. In recent years, growth in demand has consistently outpaced the growth in supply, resulting in high utilization. India’s domestic traffic makes up 69 percent of the total airline traffic in South Asia, according to data from PRS Legislative Research.

Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport is currently the ninth busiest airport in the world, according to OAG data, which uses a metric based on scheduled airline capacity for the month. The country’s other major airports include those in its metropolitan hubs Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, and Hyderabad.

The number of passengers traveling through India’s largest airports increased substantially prior to the pandemic. Delhi airport saw 48 million passengers in 2016, and this grew to 69 million in 2019. A similar increase can be seen elsewhere in the country, with Kolkata passengers increasing from 12 million in 2016 to 22 million 2020.

Air freight in India

According to ATAG , air travel carried 35 percent of world trade by value (US$6.0 trillion) in 2017, but less than one percent by volume (62 million tons). As India’s economy develops, so does demand for international trade and air freight .

From FY 2016 to FY ‘22, the volume of India freight traffic increased at a CAGR of 2.52 percent. However, the growth rate in the years leading up to the pandemic was substantially higher. Domestic air freight volumes are still below pre-pandemic levels.

Neither freight or passenger traffic is yet to reach pre-pandemic levels as Covid-19 continues to impact demand, trade, incomes, as well as supply chains across India and around the world.

Investment and supply growth

Airports are crucial links in the air transport value chain. India envisages the number of operational airports rising to 190-200 by 2040 as aviation demand rises across the country. Figures differ, although it is understood that the Airports Authority of India (AAI) currently manages 137 airports today, while the government contends that only 68 airports have been operationalized for the Regional Connectivity Scheme. New Delhi wants to operationalize 100 airports by 2024 in an effort to augment land and sea infrastructure.

India’s airport capacity is expected to handle one billion trips annually by 2023, according to PRS Legislative Research.

Prior to 2013, AAI was the only major player involved in developing and upgrading airports. However, that has all changed, and there has been increased government and private participation. The Government of India is currently supporting the development of 19 airports, seven of which are through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP). The government contends that the Regional Connectivity Scheme seeks to facilitate/stimulate regional air connectivity by making it affordable.

The below table notes some of the top private sector players in airport development in recent years.

The IBEF contends that investment to the tune of INR 420-450 billion (US$5.99-6.41 billion) is expected in India’s airport infrastructure between FY 2018-23, although this figure has likely been lowered due to the pandemic.

Foreign investment in new initiatives, including airlines, is allowed up to 49 percent under the automatic route. Up to 100 percent would be permitted in scheduled air transport service, regional air transport service, and domestic scheduled passenger airline, but government approval is required first.

In 2021, India’s domestic airlines had just over 700 planes in service. However, this number is expected to grow in the coming years. In fact, the number of airplanes is expected to reach 1,100 by 2027.

One reason for this is the entry of new players into the market. Akasa Air is one of three new airlines to set up in India over the past decade. The majority of these new airlines have adopted a low-cost approach, hoping to appeal to price-sensitive flyers using low fares and unbundled services. Akasa Air – which was founded by the Indian billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala – flew its first flight service from Mumbai to Ahmedabad on August 7, 2022 – and will compete with budget carriers IndiGo, SpiceJet, and GoFirst. However, Akasa Air’s network strategy intends to connect metro cities with smaller towns across India.

India’s MRO sector is expected to develop in tandem with the passenger and freight industry. According to the IBEF, the MRO industry is likely to be worth over US$2.4 billion by 2028, up from US$800 million in 2018.

Last year, the government announced a new policy with the aim of attracting MRO investment and eventually making India a global MRO hub. Land allotment for MRO facilities will be leased for 30 years instead of three-five years, as was the case under the previous terms.

India’s share of the US$80 billion global MRO market is only at 2.5 percent at present.

India’s civil aviation sector has seen considerable change in recent years, and the pandemic served only to reduce the addressable market size – although there is clearly a sizeable future market and airlines are keen to enhance their market share as more demand comes online. However, debt and safety challenges are two of the biggest issues facing the sector.

Airlines, notably those with high debt burdens, struggle to maintain the required safety standards. Debt is an issue for India’s airlines with the pandemic causing nearly three years of reduced flying.

In late 2021, the Indian government agreed to clear all of Air India’s debts owed to banks, oil companies, airports, and aircraft lessors by the end of this financial year. This paved the way for the Tata Group to make a winning bid of INR 180 billion to buy Air India, Air India Express, and Air India SATS Airport Services Pvt Ltd. through its subsidiary Talace Private Limited . (Tata Sons is now making moves to integrate Air Asia with Air India . The Tata Group had raised their stake in Air Asia to 83.67 percent in December 2020. The Indian conglomerate also own Vistara Airlines.)

Other airlines in India have not been as fortunate as Air India to have their debts cleared by the government; it now remains to be seen how the airline turns its fortunes around after returning to the Tatas from a beleaguered state stewardship.

Meanwhile, indicative of the state of India’s aviation market, a Times of India article from late July, 2022, claimed that IndiGo was the only financially stable operator of regional flights using turboprops in the country.

Many airlines were already suffering financially before the COVID-19 pandemic struck – the pandemic cost airlines in excess of US$2bn and airports around US$500m according to PRS Legislative Research. Two airlines, Air Odisha Aviation Pvt Ltd and Deccan Charters Pvt Ltd, exited the market in 2020. Air India had reported losses for the past four years, while all other major private airlines in India, including market leaders IndiGo and Gurgaon-based SpiceJet, registered losses in 2018-19.

Some Indian airlines have also suffered from reputational challenges in recent years. Just last month, SpiceJet caused controversy after a number of air safety accidents angered the country’s aviation regulator and damaged customer trust. In early July, it was reported that the airline had recorded eight malfunction incidents in the previous 18 days.

However, India’s air safety record is positive compared to the global average. In 2019, there were just 0.82 accidents per million flights as compared to the global average of 3.02. This represents a considerable improvement from 2014, when there were 2.8 accidents per million flights in India.

But more generally, the reputation of India’s airline industry will be tested as India-based airlines enhance their services to international audiences. After all, air travel passengers are price sensitive to an extent, though this should not come at the cost of safety.

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We also maintain offices or have alliance partners assisting foreign investors in Indonesia , Singapore , Vietnam , Philippines , Malaysia , Thailand , Italy , Germany , and the United States , in addition to practices in Bangladesh and Russia .

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Simple Flying

Boeing: india's airline sector is the fastest growing in the world.

The country's aviation market will continue to skyrocket in the next decade.

  • India's aviation sector is the fastest-growing in the world, with airlines committing to huge fleet expansions.
  • There is still untapped potential in India's aviation market, as air travel is utilized at a fraction of the rate compared to China and the US.
  • The country continues to make major investments in its infrastructure to drive further growth.

Boeing India President Salil Gupte has said India is the world's fastest-growing aviation sector with a growth rate of almost 7%. With India's national GDP continuing to grow, its aviation boom looks certain to continue in the years ahead.

India's aviation growth

India has long been one of the world's fastest-developing economies, and this has passed over into its aviation industry. With the country now home to the third-biggest domestic aviation market in the world - surpassed only by the US and China - major infrastructure growth and fleet expansions will continue to drive its upward trajectory.

As reported by ANI News, Gupte said,

"The airline sector in India is the fastest-growing airline sector anywhere in the world. It has grown by roughly 6.97 percent over the last number of years. It'll continue to grow at that level because it tends to grow along with GDP growth. And India has the fastest GDP growth and the strongest economy of any major nation in the world. So the airline sector will continue to boom over the next few years."

According to Air India Chief Commercial & Transformation Officer, Nipun Aggarwal, India's growth rate is 2.5 times higher than the global average. There is still huge, untapped potential, as Indians are utilizing air travel at just a fraction of the rate of China and the US.

Air India Express Boeing 737

Indian carriers have been at the center of some of the largest aircraft deals in recent years. This includes Air India's plans to triple its fleet size (starting with a 470+ aircraft order with Airbus and Boeing) and IndiGo's 500-plane deal with Airbus announced this summer.

More passengers, airports and aircraft

According to Invest India, domestic passenger numbers more than doubled in the space of just half a decade, increasing from 60 million in 2014 to 140 million before the pandemic - in fact, while capacity is still slightly lower than in 2019, demand for domestic air services is trending higher than ever. Additionally, the number of aircraft in the country has shot up in less than ten years, rising from around 400 in 2014 to over 700 in 2023.

Read more: Could India become the world's largest aviation market?

India now has 34 international and over 100 domestic airports, with more development on the way. Its infrastructure growth has been aided by the government-backed UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) scheme launched in 2016 - this initiative aims to make air travel possible for all citizens by developing regional airports and subsidizing routes.

Two IndiGo Airbus A320 aircraft on an airport apron.

Along with its thriving domestic sector, Indian carriers continue to expand their international reach. For the country to meet the growing demand for international service, experts believe Indian carriers will need to add up to 150 widebody aircraft to their fleets, some of which can be utilized on popular domestic routes too.

Do you think India's aviation sector will continue its remarkable growth over the next decade? Let us know your insights in the comments.

Source: ANI News , Invest India

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  • Leaders Speak
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  • Air India, Indian aviation market & tailwinds of growth

The country's civil aviation sector is poised for a phenomenal and healthy growth in terms of passengers, aircraft and airports, with the number of air travellers projected to touch 40 crore by 2027, Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia told PTI on August 7 last year, the day when Akasa Air started commercial operations.

growth of air travel in india

  • Updated On Feb 20, 2023 at 11:35 AM IST

growth of air travel in india

Airlines should look at common services facility for planes to cut costs: Former min Suresh Prabhu

While noting that aviation is a challenging industry, BJP member Prabhu, who has also helmed various other Union ministries in the past, said that Air India should be operating at full scale and not at a sub-optimal level. Earlier this week, Air India announced placing firm orders for 470 planes from Airbus and Boeing, and there is also the option to acquire another 370 aircraft.

Air India announces mega-470 aircraft order with Airbus & Boeing to mordernise its fleet

Air India announces mega-470 aircraft order with Airbus & Boeing to mordernise its fleet

The airline has signed letters of intent with Airbus and Boeing to acquire both widebody and single-aisle aircraft. The first of the new aircraft will enter service in late-2023, with the bulk to arrive from mid-2025 onwards. In the interim, Air India has already started taking delivery of 11 leased B777 and 25 A320 aircraft.

Boeing witnesses travel growth as Air India prepares huge jet order

Boeing witnesses travel growth as Air India prepares huge jet order

The US plane maker forecast Indian airline capacity - the number of seats on offer and a gauge of industry confidence - to be 7 per cent higher in the first-half of 2023 than in 2019 amid a strong rebound in the world’s fastest-growing market. Over the next 20 years, Indian passenger traffic is expected to grow by 7 per cent annually, requiring 2,210 new planes, Boeing said in a statement during the Aero India air show.

  • Published On Feb 20, 2023 at 11:35 AM IST

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The future of aviation: trends, technologies and opportunities.

Piyalee Chatterjee Ghosh

Piyalee Chatterjee Ghosh

Founder and Head of Product, Myfledge Institutes of Aviation and Hospitality

Aviation in India is poised for remarkable growth. The demand for air travel in India is soaring due to a variety of trends taking place in the industry. India is expected to overtake China and the United States as the world’s third-largest air passenger market in the next ten years, by 2030, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).  With the industry scaling up, the role technology plays as well as opportunities the industry is opening up is interesting to take note of.

Increase in Flight Orders and Number of Low Cost Carriers

One of the largest orders, for 470 aircraft valued at $70 billion, was signed by Air India with Boeing and Airbus. This order has been eclipsed by IndiGo’s landmark order for 500 Airbus aircrafts.  Large investments like these will help the Indian aviation industry as a whole thrive and not just the airlines alone. The aerospace industry is rapidly expanding with a string of sizeable airplane orders. The growth of LCC’s (low cost carriers) has also been a landmark event in aviation history given the record rise in domestic travellers looking for price-sensitive travel options.

Rise In Travellers 

According to the Airports Authority of India, India’s passenger volume could increase to 412 million in 2024–2025. Today, with the rise in disposable income most people are opting for air travel from India whether it is for tourism or to migrate for studies. The rise of these travellers is interconnected with the increase in flight orders, which is placed to meet increased passenger demand. In turn this has had a massive impact on increasing airports in India and significant infrastructure investment and govt friendly aviation policies.

Infrastructure Investment, Increase In Airports and Routes

The Indian government has been attempting to build more airports in order to handle the increased aviation traffic. India had 131 active airports as of 2022. In India, it is planned to have 220 operating airports by 2025 as per Aviation Industry Report 2023 IBEF. Here we see the addition of routes as well as air traffic increasing locally and internationally massively contributing to India’s exceptional air connectivity. To accommodate the massive upsurge, the government is taking pertinent measures in infrastructure to accommodate this growth. At CAPA India Aviation Summit in New Delhi, it was revealed that the govt was investing 980 billion rupees on building airport infrastructure.

Technological Impetus & Opportunities 

The development of technology will be a key factor in determining the direction of aviation. Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), AR/VR, blockchain, big data, and machine learning (ML) will maximise operational effectiveness and cut costs. Advanced monitoring systems, quicker check-in procedures, effective luggage management, and enhanced flight services and maintenance will all be made possible by these technologies. The sector will need a skilled workforce that is upskilled in tech-focused areas, as well as significant investment in technology, to properly utilise these technologies.

Opportunities for Talent

The future of aviation holds immense potential for expansion, advancement, and the generation of new employment opportunities. With the increasing demand for air travel, there is a pressing requirement for proficient individuals across a wide range of domains within aviation.

As the aviation industry expands, delivering exceptional experiences and personalized services will become even more crucial. Skilled professionals who excel in customer engagement and service management will play an integral role in maintaining airlines’ competitive edge.

As advancements like artificial intelligence, data analytics, and automation revolutionize the industry, professionals with expertise in these areas will be in high demand. They will contribute to enhancing safety, efficiency, and sustainability in air transportation. To meet these evolving demands, comprehensive training programs and curriculum that align with the changing technological landscape will be the need of the day. By fostering collaboration with educational institutions, industry stakeholders can ensure that the workforce is equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to adapt to the future of aviation.

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The Economic Impact of India's Travel and Tourism Sector

  • Published | 01 March 2024

Impact of Tourism

Tourism holds a multi-tiered impact on local economies, delineated into direct, indirect, and induced effects. Direct impact encompasses the GDP generated by tourism-centric entities like hotels, airlines, restaurants, and tourist-focused services. Indirect contributions extend to investment and government spending, encompassing support, promotional activities, and administrative services. Induced impact reflects the economic boost from spending by both directly and indirectly employed individuals in the tourism sector. These impacts can fluctuate among nations based on the integration of tourism-related activities within the local economy. Stronger connections often lead to heightened local economic activity and growth. This occurs when tourism businesses procure goods and services, including labor, locally. Conversely, weaker economic ties arise when tourism enterprises heavily rely on imports, including staffing, to meet their needs.

Govt Initiatives to Promote Tourism in India

The Indian government has launched several initiatives to propel the growth of tourism-related infrastructure across the nation. The Swadesh Darshan Scheme underwent a significant overhaul, now known as Swadesh Darshan 2.0 (SD2.0). This initiative aims to foster sustainable and responsible tourist destinations by adopting a tourist-centric approach. In addition, the National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) Scheme was introduced, focusing on the integrated development of identified pilgrimage sites. Furthermore, a 24x7 toll-free Multilingual Tourist Helpline was established to aid tourists in need. To simplify travel, the government has offered e-Visa services across five sub-categories for nationals of 165 countries, with reduced visa fees and expanded liberalization. Special emphasis has been placed on developing and promoting 'Niche Tourism' products, leveraging India's comparative advantages to attract tourists with specific interests. Efforts to position India as a comprehensive tourism destination are being amplified through extensive promotion on the Ministry's social media platforms and website. Capacity Building for Service Providers (CBSP) programs has been initiated to elevate service standards through enhanced training. Furthermore, the government has opened new mountain peaks for mountaineering and trekking to invigorate adventure tourism. To boost competitiveness, the GST on hotel rooms with tariffs ranging from ₹1,001 to ₹7,500/night has been reduced to 12%, while those above ₹7,501 now stand at 18%. Moreover, in collaboration with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the Ministry of Tourism has facilitated 59 tourism routes under the RCS UDAN Scheme. Financial support in the form of VGF (Viability Gap Funding) has been extended to identified airlines for 51 operationalized routes, fostering increased connectivity and accessibility across the country.

Impact of G20 Summit on India Travel and Tourism Market

The monumental G20 gatherings held in Delhi, featuring world leaders, have proven to be an extraordinary triumph. Recognized as the world's fastest-growing economy, India is increasingly drawing business travelers. With substantial enhancements in infrastructure, connectivity, and the enhancement of various locales through the G20, India has emerged as an appealing global travel and tourism destination. Under India's G20 Presidency, tourism took center stage, marked by the establishment of four G20 tourism working groups. These groups were dedicated to formulating policies promoting sustainable and inclusive tourism, focusing on themes like green and adventure tourism, digitalization, destination management, skill development, and supporting MSMEs. Collaborative efforts among various states and stakeholders were instrumental in fortifying infrastructure, celebrating cultural heritage, preserving diversity, and driving sustainable development. Preceding the G20 meetings, endeavors were made to restore heritage monuments, upgrade infrastructure, and bolster connectivity. These initiatives spanned transportation, lodging, and conference facilities, with airlines planning to expand their fleets and introduce direct flights to previously unconnected destinations. Delhi, post the recent G20 meetings, presents a transformed experience owing to these comprehensive efforts. The Ministry of Tourism designated 2023 as the 'Visit India' year, organizing over 220 meetings in more than 60 cities, including non-metro cities like Udaipur, Guwahati, Indore, Jodhpur, Surat, and Thiruvananthapuram. This move has already sparked a surge in hotel bookings, indicating increased tourist footfall. Notably, foreign tourist arrivals surged by 166% in the first four months of 2023 compared to 2022, highlighting the heightened interest. The hospitality sector experienced a significant upswing during the G20 period, with a four-fold increase in average daily rates for hotel rooms. Travel agencies witnessed heightened demand for tour guides in cities hosting the G20 meetings. The substantial enhancements in infrastructure and global attention on India are expected to sustain tourism growth post the summit. India's tourism momentum is anticipated to persist beyond the G20 handover to Brazil and South Africa in subsequent years, signifying a continued focus on these regions and bolstering tourism as a whole. Ultimately, the G20 summit has acted as a catalyst, providing a substantial boost to tourism in India.

Top Tourist Destinations in India

Explore India's vibrant tourist landscape that beckons travelers from across the globe. In 2021, the country hosted a mosaic of visitors: 6.77 million Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs), 6.87 million returning Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), and 6.98 million International Tourist Arrivals (ITAs). The subsequent year, 2022, while witnessing a slight decline in Foreign Tourist Arrivals to 6.33 million, maintained steady figures for NRIs and ITAs at 7.00 million and 6.98 million, respectively. Diving deeper into these arrivals, the Bureau of Immigration spotlighted key contributors to India's tourism tapestry in 2022. The United States led with 13.7 lakh arrivals (22.19%), trailed closely by Bangladesh with 12.6 lakh arrivals (20.29%), the United Kingdom at 6.2 lakh arrivals (9.98%), Australia with 3.7 lakh arrivals (5.96%), and Canada recording 2.8 lakh arrivals (4.48%).

Shifting the focus to domestic tourism, Uttar Pradesh emerged as a frontrunner in 2022, hosting a substantial 317.91 million visits, constituting 18.37% of the country's total domestic tourist footfall. Tamil Nadu closely followed with 218.58 million visits (12.63%), while Andhra Pradesh secured third place with 192.72 million visits (11.13%). Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan prominently featured, drawing 182.41 million, 135.81 million, 111.30 million, and 108.33 million visits, respectively. West Bengal, Telangana, and Uttarakhand trailed behind with 84.54 million, 60.75 million, and 54.64 million visits, collectively contributing to a significant 84.75% of all domestic tourist visits in the country.

Additionally, India's rich cultural heritage attracted domestic explorers to its top archaeological marvels. The Taj Mahal magnetized the most footfall at 45.13 lakhs, trailed by the Red Fort (22.01 lakhs) and the Sun Temple in Konark (21.33 lakhs). Notable sites like Agra Fort, Qutub Minar, and Golkonda Fort drew substantial visitor counts, while the Group of Monuments in Mamallapuram, Ellora Caves, Tomb of Rabis Durani (Bibi ka Maqbara), and Humayun's Tomb rounded up the list, captivating scores of inquisitive travelers during the Financial Year 2022-23.

Ayodhya: An Emerging Travel Destination in India

Ayodhya's evolution into a prominent travel destination is underpinned by significant revitalization efforts. Triggered by the Supreme Court's declaration of an ancient Ram Temple in 2019, Ayodhya's redevelopment has taken flight, driven by the government's vision to surpass Mecca and Vatican's annual footfall. This city of sacred importance is meticulously restructured and readied to accommodate a projected influx of pilgrims and tourists, thoughtfully ensuring infrastructure matches anticipated demand. The city's master plan preserves its essence while gearing up for massive footfall. The Janam-Bhoomi temple complex's construction, the symbolic heart of Ayodhya, progresses, scheduled for a partial opening on January 22, 2024. Roads leading to key sites are widened, aesthetically enhanced, alongside rejuvenated public spaces and riverfronts. Notably, Ayodhya boasts a new international airport, upgraded railway station, and burgeoning hospitality infrastructure with renowned hotel chains. Additionally, the government fosters entertainment avenues like the Ramayana Spiritual Forest and a globally acclaimed 'Deepotsav' event, aiming for record-breaking participation. Public-private partnerships drive entertainment development, enhancing the city's allure for tourists. Investments pour in as Ayodhya emerges as a transformative tourism hub, attracting global attention. Tour operators seize the moment, weaving Ayodhya into itineraries, presenting its spiritual ethos and Hindu heritage. Ayodhya stands as an upcoming spiritual haven, distinct from other destinations in Uttar Pradesh, offering a unique blend of history, spirituality, and connectivity to adjacent tourist hotspots like Lucknow, Varanasi, and Prayagraj

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India's business travel industry poised for growth, expected to reach $38.2bn in 2024

A n inaugural Corporate Travel Summit hosted by FCM Travel India, highlighted that India’s business travel industry is expected to grow and reach $38.2 billion in the year 2024.

Hosted on February 27 in Mumbai, the event was powered by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), and brought together over 150 industry professionals, including key decision-makers, to discuss the latest trends and insights shaping the future of business travel in India.

The summit also noted India's position in the global business travel landscape.

According to Sunny Sodhi, Managing Director of FCM Travel India, " India is the 9th largest travel market in the world for business travel spending. It is the 4th largest market for the Asia Pacific region, representing 5.7 per cent of business travel spending in the region."

2024 business travel spending projected to reach $38.2 billion

The Indian business travel market witnessed a remarkable 24.7 per cent growth in 2023, and experts anticipate an additional 18.3 per cent increase in 2024, reaching an estimated value of $38.2 billion.

This growth is attributed to various factors, including the increasing adoption of technology, a growing focus on wellness and unique experiences, and the reopening of China.

Pre-pandemic levels expected by 2025

The industry is optimistic about a swift recovery.

Catherine Logan, Regional Vice President of EMEA & APAC at GBTA, concluded by stating, "India will fully reach pre-2019 spending levels by 2025 and is expected to reach 120 per cent of its pre-COVID business travel spend in 2027."

Technology and sustainability at the forefront

Manpreet Bindra, FCM Meetings & Events Leader for Asia, highlighted the growing prominence of technology in the meetings and events industry.

"Technology-enabled events are here to stay, and we use artificial intelligence and virtual reality to enhance and elevate guest experiences," he said.

He further highlighted the rising demand for wellness-focused experiences, citing examples like walking tours in Maasai Mara and dinners along the Mara River.

India: A promising market for future growth

FCM Travel Asia's Managing Director, Bertrand Saillet, reinstated the positive outlook for the Indian market, saying, “Asia has continued to outperform, with a significant 44 per cent increase in revenue as announced in our Mid-Year Results FY2024.”

"This is fuelled by strong performance across Southeast Asia, India, and the re-opening of China, hence we are witnessing growth opportunities in India and Southeast Asia in FY2025," he added.

India's business travel industry poised for growth, expected to reach $38.2bn in 2024

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Revitalizing India's cotton saga: A blueprint for growth

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Strategic measures include development of new Bt cotton varieties, adoption of precision agriculture, and embracing digitization. Combined with traditional farming practices, these initiatives will help boost yields, enhance sustainability, and secure the livelihoods of millions

 From a peak yield of 572 kg per hectare in 2013-14, India's cotton yields have plummeted nearly 30% to approximately 396 kg per hectare, significantly below the global average of 675 kg. (Image: Pixabay)

India, the world's second-largest cotton producer, faces a critical juncture in its agricultural history. Despite its global standing, the livelihoods of Indian cotton farmers and millers are under threat due to declining cotton yields. 

The Cotton Association of India (CAI) projects that production in the 2023-24 season will hit a 15-year low. From a peak yield of 572 kg per hectare in 2013-14, yields have plummeted nearly 30% to approximately 396 kg per hectare, significantly below the global average of 675 kg.

This reduction in yield has been prompting farmers to switch to other crops, with the CAI predicting a 10% decrease in cotton acreage next season, which could hurt production further.

Reasons behind drop in yields

India's cotton fields face several challenges. Bt cotton, once a revolutionary crop that was genetically modified to resist bollworms, is now falling prey to the pink bollworm. The latest sowing season saw this pest causing significant damage across the cotton belt in northern India. Additionally, unpredictable weather patterns and inconsistent monsoons are adversely affecting cotton, a water-intensive crop.

Despite these hurdles, India aims to become the world's leading cotton producer once again. This ambition is not beyond reach, but it will require a concerted effort to leverage collaboration and advanced technologies to make a significant turnaround.

Revitalising Bt cotton

The initial success of Bt cotton led to a heavy dependence on this genetically modified variant, side-lining crucial agronomic factors like soil health and water management, and also the planting of Refugia or non-Bt cotton crops to complement and augment the pest resistance.

This dependency has resulted in stagnant and then declining yields. 

It's time to explore the development of new Bt cotton varieties, along with more effective insecticides and chemicals to combat the pink bollworm more efficiently. 

The next generation of genetically modified cotton could be designed not only for pest resistance but also to increase yields significantly. This endeavour will necessitate a partnership among agricultural scientists, regulatory bodies, and the agrochemical industry, as reliance on outdated technologies is insufficient to meet the evolving challenges.

Precision agriculture

Cotton, as mentioned earlier, is a water-intensive crop. In a world that’s increasingly water stressed and plagued by climate change, adopting precision agriculture techniques could be a game-changer. 

Traditional flood irrigation methods are wasteful, whereas technologies like drip irrigation can significantly reduce water and fertilizer consumption while increasing yields. Recent studies suggest that drip irrigation could save 20-30% of fertilizer and 50-60% of water, boosting cotton production in the process.

In addition to more targeted water and fertiliser delivery, precision agriculture will also make it possible for more targeted delivery of nutrients. Nutrition is after all critical to yield.

Embracing digitisation

Digitisation is the next frontier for agriculture, with an immense potential to transform India’s farmlands. There is no reason why it should not do the same for cotton. Drones, satellite technology, artificial intelligence, machine learning, sensor-based Internet of Things (IoT), can all help unlock greater yields.

Drones, for instance, can scan a large area for signs of pest infestation, alerting farmers to it before it has had the chance to spread. Satellites can be useful in monitoring, analysing and predicting weather patterns, empowering farmers with crucial information they can use to plan interventions.

Robotics and AI, meanwhile, acting in conjunction with sensor-based IoT can inform farmers about the timing, nature and quantity of interventions like what kind of crop protection product to use, how much of it to use and when to use it. It’s the same for nutritional interventions. Technology can help farmers time nutritional intervention so that it is at its most effective.

The tried and tested

The efficacy of any new-age approach will only be enhanced when paired with tried and tested agricultural practices. With up to 74% of yields hurt due to weed infestation, early-stage weed management helps minimize harmful weed interventions. Hence age-old practices to boost soil health like crop rotation, compost application and green manuring can aid farmers.

At the end of the day, we need to turn the tide in the battle against falling cotton productivity. It’s not just a matter of pride, or livelihood, it is also a matter of self-sufficiency. We don’t want to become reliant on cotton imports to meet our needs. Especially when a turnaround in fortunes is achievable. As far as cotton is concerned, we need collective action, collaboration, and a shared commitment to usher in a new era of agricultural abundance and prosperity.

Rajavelu NK is CEO-Crop Protection Business, Godrej Agrovet Ltd

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  • Transportation & Logistics ›

Industry-specific and extensively researched technical data (partially from exclusive partnerships). A paid subscription is required for full access.

  • Passenger traffic at Indian airports FY 2014-2023, by type

India’s leading air carriers

Air freight, number of passengers handled at airports in india from financial year 2014 to 2023, by type (in millions).

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Additional Information

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FY 2014 to FY 2023

Previous reports have been accessed for this data. India's financial year begins in April and ends in March. For example, FY 2016 started in April 2015 and ended in March 2016. Values have been rounded.

Other statistics on the topic Air transportation in India

  • Global air traffic - annual growth of passenger demand 2006-2023
  • Domestic market share of airlines across India FY 2023, by passengers carried
  • Market size of the global airline industry 2018-2023
  • Leading airports India FY 2022, by number of international passengers

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Statistics on " Passenger aviation in India "

  • Fleet size of the aviation market in India 2021-2033, by aircraft type
  • Accident rate per million departures of scheduled commercial flights India 2008-2022
  • Operating revenue of Indian national carriers FY 2021, by operator
  • Operating revenue of Indian domestic private carriers FY 2021, by operator
  • Cost breakdown for the Indian aviation industry FY 2022
  • Key financial figures for Air India FY 2016-2022
  • Financial performance for IndiGo FY 2015-2023
  • Revenue from operations of SpiceJet FY 2022, by type
  • Leading airlines in India 2023, by international traffic
  • Passenger traffic from India FY 2022, by leading destination
  • Number of passengers traveling to India FY 2022, by country
  • Leading Indian airports FY 2022, by number of domestic passengers
  • Passenger traffic of IndiGo FY 2014-2023
  • Number of personnel employed IndiGo FY 2022, by category
  • Load factor of IndiGo FY 2018-2023
  • Fleet size by total aircrafts of IndiGo FY 2018-2023
  • Number of passenger aircrafts of IndiGo FY 2023, by type

Other statistics that may interest you Passenger aviation in India

  • Premium Statistic Market size of the global airline industry 2018-2023
  • Premium Statistic Global air traffic - annual growth of passenger demand 2006-2023
  • Premium Statistic Passenger traffic at Indian airports FY 2014-2023, by type
  • Premium Statistic Fleet size of the aviation market in India 2021-2033, by aircraft type
  • Premium Statistic Accident rate per million departures of scheduled commercial flights India 2008-2022
  • Premium Statistic Operating revenue of Indian national carriers FY 2021, by operator
  • Premium Statistic Operating revenue of Indian domestic private carriers FY 2021, by operator
  • Premium Statistic Cost breakdown for the Indian aviation industry FY 2022
  • Premium Statistic Key financial figures for Air India FY 2016-2022
  • Premium Statistic Financial performance for IndiGo FY 2015-2023
  • Premium Statistic Revenue from operations of SpiceJet FY 2022, by type

International and domestic travel

  • Premium Statistic Leading airlines in India 2023, by international traffic
  • Premium Statistic Leading airports India FY 2022, by number of international passengers
  • Premium Statistic Passenger traffic from India FY 2022, by leading destination
  • Premium Statistic Number of passengers traveling to India FY 2022, by country
  • Basic Statistic Domestic market share of airlines across India FY 2023, by passengers carried
  • Premium Statistic Leading Indian airports FY 2022, by number of domestic passengers

Company focus: IndiGo

  • Premium Statistic Passenger traffic of IndiGo FY 2014-2023
  • Premium Statistic Number of personnel employed IndiGo FY 2022, by category
  • Premium Statistic Load factor of IndiGo FY 2018-2023
  • Premium Statistic Fleet size by total aircrafts of IndiGo FY 2018-2023
  • Premium Statistic Number of passenger aircrafts of IndiGo FY 2023, by type

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  • Premium Statistic LOT Polish Airlines seats capacity on medium-haul flights in Poland 2019, by market
  • Premium Statistic Fuel costs of airlines worldwide 2016
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  • Premium Statistic Leading airlines in Russia 2022, by passenger count
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  • Premium Statistic Most important destinations of LOT Polish Airlines 2019, by supply of airline seats
  • Premium Statistic LOT Polish Airlines seats capacity in Poland 2010-2019
  • Premium Statistic Mexico: revenue passenger-kilometers by air carriers 2015-2019
  • Basic Statistic Revenue passengers enplaned by U.S. air carriers 1990-2020
  • Premium Statistic Global air carrier market - share of ASMs by region 2018
  • Premium Statistic Passenger throughput of Beijing Capital International Airport 2009-2020
  • Premium Statistic Usage of ride hailing services since arrival of COVID-19 globally 2020
  • Premium Statistic Total operating profit for Monarch Airlines in the United Kingdom (UK) 2006-2013
  • Premium Statistic Growth rate of air passenger volume Thailand Q1-Q4 2022

Further Content: You might find this interesting as well

  • Percentage of passengers not boarded by the largest U.S. air carriers 1990-2021
  • LOT Polish Airlines seat load factor in Poland 2010-2019
  • Air passenger traffic change due to COVID-19 South Korea 2020
  • LOT Polish Airlines seats capacity on long-haul flights in Poland 2019, by market
  • LOT Polish Airlines seats capacity on medium-haul flights in Poland 2019, by market
  • Fuel costs of airlines worldwide 2016
  • Largest airlines flying from the CEE region 2019, by supply of airline seats
  • Leading airlines in Russia 2022, by passenger count
  • Largest registered airlines in the CEE region 2019, by supply of airline seats
  • Most important destinations of LOT Polish Airlines 2019, by supply of airline seats
  • LOT Polish Airlines seats capacity in Poland 2010-2019
  • Mexico: revenue passenger-kilometers by air carriers 2015-2019
  • Revenue passengers enplaned by U.S. air carriers 1990-2020
  • Global air carrier market - share of ASMs by region 2018
  • Passenger throughput of Beijing Capital International Airport 2009-2020
  • Usage of ride hailing services since arrival of COVID-19 globally 2020
  • Total operating profit for Monarch Airlines in the United Kingdom (UK) 2006-2013
  • Growth rate of air passenger volume Thailand Q1-Q4 2022

IMAGES

  1. [Infographic] The Latest Air Travel Trends In India: 79% Air Travellers

    growth of air travel in india

  2. India's domestic aviation market shows rapid growth in first half

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  3. India’s air travel market soars

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  4. What Are The Factors Behind Soaring Air Travel Growth?

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  5. Packed Planes, Busy Airports and Overbooked Hotels... This is the

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  6. Air India operational and financial analysis 2010~2013 with

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COMMENTS

  1. Air transportation in India

    In a densely globalized economy, air transport is a key element in the country's transport infrastructure. The Indian aviation industry has grown by leaps and bounds since the first airplane ...

  2. Passenger aviation in India

    Domestic air travel in India was suspended for several months in 2020. Meanwhile, regular international travel came to a halt for over two years, starting from March 2020. ... Annual growth in ...

  3. India is seeing a massive aviation boom

    Already the third-biggest domestic aviation market by volume, India is projected to be the third-largest overall by 2026, according to the International Air Transport Association, an industry body ...

  4. Rise of the Indian Aviation Market

    With the increase in the tourism ...

  5. The Sky's the Limit: India's Growing Aviation Industry

    Aditi Singh. February 17, 2023. India's aviation industry has undergone significant growth and transformation over the past decade. In the early 2000s, air travel in India was a luxury, only accessible to the affluent few. Today, India has become the third-largest domestic market in the world, behind only the United States and China, with more ...

  6. Growth of 42.85% in Passengers Carried by Domestic Airlines

    The increased passenger figures indicate a growing demand for air travel and highlight the positive trajectory of the aviation sector. Furthermore, the MoM growth rate between April 2022 and April 2023 has increased by 22.18%, underscoring the sustained momentum of the domestic airline industry.

  7. Air India, IndiGo: New record as 456,000 Indians take flights in a day

    Experts say India's is seeing a travel boom post the pandemic. India's domestic air traffic has hit a record high, with 456,082 passengers flying on a single day. ... This marked a 51.7% growth ...

  8. Air transport, passengers carried

    How many air passengers travel in India each year? Find out the latest data and trends on the indicator of air transport, passengers carried, from the World Bank. Compare India with other countries and regions and explore interactive charts and maps.

  9. Inside India's aviation revolution and what it means for travelers

    To better understand the current paradoxical state of India's aviation industry, we need to go back a few years. In 2014, a relatively young Indian low-cost airline, IndiGo, made headlines by ...

  10. Giant markets, giant potential

    India has become one of the hottest markets for aircraft manufacturers as airlines place hundreds of new orders to support growth plans based on India's vast untapped demand for air travel. The country will soon have the world's largest population, yet it is also relatively underserved in terms of airline capacity. Lured by this dynamic, India's airlines have collectively placed ...

  11. India is flying high again: Domestic numbers touching pre-pandemic levels

    In terms of passenger revenue kilometres, the domestic aviation market was a mere 2.2 per cent shy of reaching pre-pandemic levels, shows a report by an industry body. Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPK) is a key metric in the aviation industry that measures the demand for air transport. ICRA estimated domestic passenger traffic growth at 8-13 per cent next fiscal, post the 55-60 per cent ...

  12. India: air passenger traffic 2022

    Jul 6, 2023. In financial year 2022, the total air passenger traffic in India reached more than 105 million passengers. It was a huge increase comparing to the previous year. The domestic ...

  13. Opportunities and Headwinds in India's Domestic Aviation Industry

    Despite the pandemic slowing demand for air travel, particularly in East Asia, India's civil aviation industry has emerged as one of the fastest growing indigenous sectors in recent years. In fact, this growth means that India will likely overtake the UK to become the third largest air passenger market by 2024.

  14. Aviation in India

    Aviation in India can be broadly divided into military and civil aviation.India has an extensive civilian air transportation network and is amongst the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).. The first commercial aviation flight in India took place on 18 February 1911. In March 1953, the Indian Parliament passed the Air ...

  15. Boeing: India's Airline Sector Is The Fastest Growing In The World

    India's aviation sector is the fastest-growing in the world, with airlines committing to huge fleet expansions. There is still untapped potential in India's aviation market, as air travel is utilized at a fraction of the rate compared to China and the US. The country continues to make major investments in its infrastructure to drive further growth.

  16. Air Passenger Market Analysis

    Domestic traffic growth over 2019 levels stabilized at 4.8% with an annual growth rate at 33.7%. International passenger traffic reached 94.4% of pre-pandemic levels with a 29.7% growth YoY. Air ticket sales trended close to 2019 levels, indicating resilient demand for air travel despite the economic challenges faced by consumers.

  17. Air India, Indian aviation market & tailwinds of growth

    Boeing witnesses travel growth as Air India prepares huge jet order. The US plane maker forecast Indian airline capacity - the number of seats on offer and a gauge of industry confidence - to be 7 per cent higher in the first-half of 2023 than in 2019 amid a strong rebound in the world's fastest-growing market. Over the next 20 years, Indian ...

  18. indian air traffic growth: India's air traffic to grow nearly 7%

    Aircraft maker Boeing on Thursday said India's air traffic is projected to see a nearly 7 per cent annual growth through 2040. Strong recovery is gaining further momentum in Indian aviation and it is one of the fastest growing markets, Boeing Managing Director (Marketing) David Schulte said here. According to him, India's airlines will lead air traffic growth through 2040, growing at a rate of ...

  19. DOMESTIC AIR TRAVEL GROWTH IN INDIA

    India's travel industry is thriving, with demand for air, road and rail travel as well as for hotels booming fuelled by rising disposable incomes. But online travel aggregators are locked in a battle to win customers, with analysts saying that MakeMyTrip has lower charges and better service.

  20. The future of aviation: Trends, technologies and opportunities

    Aviation in India is poised for remarkable growth. The demand for air travel in India is soaring due to a variety of trends taking place in the industry. India is expected to overtake China and ...

  21. India: domestic airline traffic share by passengers carried 2023

    Domestic market share of airlines across India in financial year 2023, by passengers carried. Characteristic. Domestic market share. IndiGo. 54.7 %. Vistara. 10.4 %. Air India. 9.3 %.

  22. The Economic Impact of India's Travel and Tourism Sector

    India welcomed 6.2 million foreign tourists in 2022, marking an exceptional growth rate of 307.9% compared to 2021's 1.52 million arrivals. Remarkably, the travel and tourism sector contributed 9.2% to India's GDP in 2022, generating 44.6 million jobs, roughly 8.5% of the nation's total employment.

  23. India's business travel industry poised for growth, expected to reach

    An inaugural Corporate Travel Summit hosted by FCM Travel India, highlighted that India's business travel industry is expected to grow and reach $38.2 billion in the year 2024. Hosted on ...

  24. Watch Air India's Wilson On Expansion Strategy

    Air India CEO & MD Campbell Wilson discusses Air India's growth strategy and expansion plans. He speaks with Avril Hong from the sidelines of "Aviation Festival Asia 2024". (Source: Bloomberg)

  25. Air India: Two years after!

    Though there is evidence of growth on several parameters. Over the last two years, many of the aircraft that had been grounded for one reason or the other are now back in the air, the credit of which goes solely to the new Tata team. The total number of operational aircraft is 117 for Air India, a 50% addition and 63 aircraft in Air India Express.

  26. Shankh Air Takes Flight: Revolutionizing Indian Skies from Uttar

    Sharvan K. Vishwakarma's vision extends beyond mere connectivity; it's about enhancing the essence of air travel with a customer-first approach. Shankh Air's commitment to competitive pricing and twin-class offerings is poised to make air travel more accessible and enjoyable for a broader demographic. Building on Infrastructure and Economic Growth

  27. Passenger transport in India

    Road transport in India Since independence, road infrastructure in India saw great expansion, reaching around 6.4 million kilometers in financial year 2019, making it the second largest road ...

  28. Revitalizing India's cotton saga: A blueprint for growth

    Premium From a peak yield of 572 kg per hectare in 2013-14, India's cotton yields have plummeted nearly 30% to approximately 396 kg per hectare, significantly below the global average of 675 kg ...

  29. India: air passenger traffic by type 2023

    In India, there were over 400 airports and airstrips, while 136 were operational. Passenger traffic amounted to over 327 million at airports across India in financial year 2023, out of which close ...