Friday, November 10, 2017

Hundreds of planes on order by airlines: AAI seeks delivery schedule to augment infra at choked airports

New Delhi: With a crippling infrastructure shortage plaguing major Indian airports even as desi carriers have ordered hundreds of aircraft, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is trying to find answer to an issue which grapples all cities — finding parking space — or in its case creating parking bays for planes. AAI chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra has asked airlines like IndiGo, SpiceJet, Jet Airways and GoAir to give him the exact month-and-year-wise delivery schedule of aircraft ordered by them. While these airlines have already placed huge orders, other carriers are also likely to do so.
"India is going to get 400 more commercial planes in next three to four years. We have asked for their delivery schedule as we have to prepare night parking (basically create additional parking bays) at airports. We are asking airlines where will they want to park their planes at night and need to be ready for that," Mohapatra said.
Airlines have long wondered that with big metro airports like Delhi and Mumbai completely choked, where will they even park the planes ordered by them. AAI on Thursday shared its plan for expansion of existing airports and building new ones over coming years. "We are going to spend Rs 18,000 crore by 2021 on upgrading our airports and air traffic services to cope with the growing traffic. India is witnessing the fastest growth in air travel globally for many months in a row," the chairman said.
Luckily for AAI, the traffic growth which requires massive capital investment in infrastructure has also led to an increase in revenue. The state-run airport operator recorded its highest ever profit of Rs 3,116 crore in financial year 2016-17, up 23% from previous fiscal. Its revenue in FY 2017 was Rs 12,542 crore, up 16% from previous year and with the Delhi and Mumbai JV airports chipping in with Rs 3,200 crore as revenue share, said Mohapatra.
09/11/17 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India