India's aviation market would surpass the US and China by crossing a billion passenger trips per year in the next 10 to 15 years, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said here today.
Sinha, who was speaking at the day-long Ideas Summit 2017 of entrepreneurs here, said the aviation industry now equaled the Indian Railways in terms of turnover as it generated a total revenue of about Rs 1.8 lakh crore this fiscal.
"The growth in aviation sector is unprecedented. In the last three-four years, we have actually been growing at 15-20 per cent. From 100 million passenger trips a few years ago we will double to about 200 million passenger trips this fiscal. In fact, India is already the third largest domestic aviation market in the world only after the US and China," he said.
The US stood at around 900 million passenger trips per year and China was at 600 million, Sinha said, adding that projections point at India growing to a one billion passenger trips market in the next 15-20 years.
"So, from 500 planes in the sky, we will have to go to about 2000 planes," Sinha said at the event organised by the Foundation for Resource Development and Education at SKICC.
The Union minister said aviation was going to be one of the largest industries in India and airlines had placed orders for over 900 planes.
"If you think that we are just making up these numbers, let me tell you that today our airlines have already placed orders for 935 planes," he said.
He said the government is trying to spread air connectivity throughout the country. "We have grown the aviation sector to see the PM's dream of 'sab udenge, sab judenge' being realised," he said.
The minister said the aviation industry generated a turnover of about Rs 1.8 lakh crore this fiscal which is equal to that of the Indian Railways.
"Today the airline industry is as big as the Indian Railways and the Indian telecom industry," he said.
In 2014, the country had about 75 operational airports and through the regional connectivity scheme 'Udaan', the government added 25 more airports to the aviation network this year and now there are 100 operational airports, Sinha said. "For J-K, you will probably have five or six more airports," he added.