'India is third largest domestic aviation market'

'India is third largest domestic aviation market'

India has become the third largest aviation market in terms of domestic passenger traffic, beating Japan, an industry report has said.

India’s domestic air passenger traffic stood at 100 million in 2016 and was behind only the US (719 million) and China (436 million), aviation thinktank Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) said in its latest report.

Flying ahead of Japan
India acquired the third spot globally by unseating Japan, which flew 97 million domestic passengers in 2016, CAPA said.

Domestic air traffic has shown a consistent growth of 20-25% throughout 2015 and 2016, peaking in January this year at 25.13%.

However, the domestic travel demand rose 16% in February this year, ending the long streak of over 20%.

According to CAPA, India which enjoyed the fourth position in terms of overall air passenger traffic (both domestic and international) along with the UK, has also inched closer to becoming the third largest one by March next year.

“India will become the third largest market two to three years ahead of what was projected. This is because the growth has been much higher,” CAPA India head Kapil Kaul said. Japan, which flew 141 million passengers in 2016, was ahead of India whose total air passenger traffic was 131 million in the previous year.

The US, with 815 million passengers in 2016, enjoyed the top position, followed by China with 490 million, according to the report.

Deccan, Alliance Air to fly regional
Private charter firms Deccan Charter and Air Odisha together are learnt to have bagged around 50 regional air routes to propel the government’s ambitious regional connectivity scheme, UDAN.

The process of selection of the routes and the operators is nearly complete and the government is likely to make an announcement on this issue in the next few days, sources said.

Air India subsidiary Alliance Air, regional carrier TrueJet’s holding company Turbo Megha Airways and budget airline SpiceJet are among other operators which have won the bids for UDAN flights, the sources said.

While the first RCS (Regional Connectivity Scheme) flight is likely to be operated by Alliance Air to Bhatinda from the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi, soon, full-scale operations are expected to commence from May, they said.

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