Sunday, June 16, 2013

It's time Indian aviation sector spreads its wings

Airports and air transport are becoming the lifeline of the new globalised economy. Though the recession had hit the momentum of global air transport growth, it is picking up slowly. Compared to other regions, Asia-Pacific is leading the revival.
India too felt the pinch of recession.   But last year, India was second in the global air transport growth (13.1%). In first place was Kazakhstan (22.5%) and China just behind us  (10.1%). The projected figures show that global air transport is waiting in the wings for the next take-off.
By 2016, the US—the leader of air transport—will have 71 crore passengers, but the next three positions will be occupied by BRICS countries: China 45 crore, Brazil 11.8 crore and India 10.7 crore. Japan will be the last among the five with 9.3 crore passengers. In the cargo sector too, third world will lead the revival. Sri Lanka at 8.7%, Vietnam at 7.4% and Brazil at 6.3% are in the front row.
Today, 129 airports are functioning in India from Leh to Thiruvananthapuram. Among them, 19 are international and seven are customs airports. The Indian economy has been fuelled by air transport in much bigger dimensions than ever. The tourism sector, which has 5.8% share in GDP, is heavily dependent on air transport. Out of 60 lakh (approx.) foreign tourists visiting India, more than 50 lakh land on the runways. In international trade, air freights have been taking care of the fragile electronic equipment and other delicate goods like pharmaceuticals and office equipment.
16/06/13 CP John/New Indian Express