Union Budget 2024: Aviation Sector Has Been Galvanized, Says FM The number of Airports has been doubled to 149. Rollout of connectivity to tier-II and tier-III cities under the Udan scheme have been widespread
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The Interim Budget presented by the Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, highlighted the expansion of existing airports and development of new airports. The Union government will continue its focus on expanding air connectivity and airport infrastructure in India. The minister said, "The aviation sector has been galvanized in the last 10 years. The number of Airports has been doubled to 149. Rollout of connectivity to tier-II and tier-III cities under the UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagarik) scheme has been widespread. As many as 517 UDAN routes are carrying 1.3 crore passengers."
The Ministry of Civil Aviation's flagship Regional Connectivity Scheme UDAN was introduced to enhance air connectivity to regional airports in small towns. The scheme, launched in 2016, aims to make flight services accessible to common citizens by focusing on developing infrastructure and air connectivity.
Welcoming the government's emphasis on the aviation sector and its commitment to 'Viksit Bharat' by 2047, Unni Bhaskar, MD, Uno Technology Private Limited, an airport control tower and high vision cabin company, said, "The budget's focus on air connectivity to tier II and tier III cities, the expansion of airports, and the proactive steps taken by Indian carriers are positive indicators for our industry. The establishment of a INR 1 lakh crore corpus for research and innovation, along with interest-free loans, is a favorable step that will encourage private sector involvement and advance technology integration in the aviation industry. We are eager to contribute to the growth of the aviation sector and work closely with the government, Airports Authority of India, and private sector partners to bring world-class ATC Control Towers and High Vision Cabins to India."
The Indian air travel market is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world. Total passengers handled across airports amounted to around 327 million passengers in FY2023. The increase in fleet by airlines and the development of new airports under the ongoing UDAN scheme has improved regional air connectivity and benefitted travelers "Infrastructure development and improved connectivity for offbeat tourist destinations like Lakshadweep will help build and promote the unexplored and hidden gems of India and will help further boost the tourism sector," said, Aloke Bajpai, co-founder & Group CEO, ixigo.
At the Paris Air Show 2023, India's largest airline in terms of market share and fleet size IndiGo, placed an order of 500 Airbus aircraft. The order by IndiGo is the largest order of commercial aircraft in the history of aviation. Before IndiGo, Tata Sons owned Air India placed an order of 470 aircraft with Airbus and Boeing. Recently, Air India received its first A350 in India.