How Centre's 90,000 crore investment will see India's airport sector flying high

How Centre's 90,000 crore investment will see India's airport sector flying high

How Centre's 90,000 crore investment will see India's airport sector flying high

The country's airport sector is all set to soar! Union Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Bansal announced on Wednesday that India's airport sector is expected to see an investment of Rs 90,000 crore in a five-year period, starting 2020-21.

This infusion of cash is bound to give a fillip to the sector, which had been battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi gears up to lay the foundation stone at the Noida International Airport, take a look at what all this entails.

India’s aviation sector

Air transport is a key element in the country’s transport infrastructure.

From the establishment of the Tata airline by JRD Tata in 1932, India's aviation industry has grown leaps and bounds.
As of 2020, the country, according to Statista, had 16 scheduled operators.

By 2024, it is expected that India will become the third-largest market in terms of passengers, overtaking the United Kingdom.

Rs 90,000 crore boost

In an effort to boost the aviation sector, investments totalling Rs 90,000 crore will be made for airports over a five-year period, starting 2020-21.

Of this amount, around Rs 20,000-22,000 crore will be invested by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), while the remaining amount of about Rs 68,000 crore would be from the private sector.

The Modi Sarkar has planned to build as many as 220 operational airports, including heliports, over five years.
Currently, India has 136 operational airports in the country.

A similar sentiment had been echoed by Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya M Scindia, who on 20 November, had said that the Central government plans to double the number of airports in the country to more than 200 by the year 2023-24.

And in an attempt to achieve this, the government has announced that a new airport will come up at Mopa in Goa by next year and an aerodrome is also coming up at Navi Mumbai in Maharashtra.

Moreover, expansion work is being carried out at Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports.

Additionally, the Civil Aviation Ministry also announced that international flights are expected to return to normal by the end of the year. “Normalisation of international operations is expected to resume by the end of the calendar year,” Bansal was quoted as saying.

Hit by coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic had a massive impact on the Indian aviation sector in 2020 and major airlines faced major losses.

According to the government of India, the Airports Authority of India — responsible for managing and maintaining civil aviation infrastructure across the country — reported a 92 percent fall in its revenue from Rs 2,973 crore during April-June 2019 to Rs 239 crore during the corresponding period in 2020.

The airline operators too suffered massive losses as could be seen by the earnings of IndiGo and SpiceJet. IndiGo incurred net losses of Rs 2,884 crore and Rs 1,194 crore in Q1 and Q2, while SpiceJet posted net losses of Rs 600 crore and Rs 112 crore in Q1 and Q2, respectively.

However, the sector is seeing a revival after a horrible period. Data from the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation showed that the average load factor of major airlines was 70 percent in August.

With inputs from agencies

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