Tuesday, April 17, 2018

India is the most underpenetrated market for airplanes: Aditya Ghosh

Srinagar: Despite being the third largest aviation market in the world, ironically India is the most underpenetrated market for commercial airplanes, said Aditya Ghosh, CEO & Whole Time Director, IndiGo. “All the airlines put together in India today, have about 550 airplanes, which is less than the size of the fleet of United Airlines. Even countries like China, the Philippines, and Malaysia have more than 10 times aircraft penetration compared to India,” Ghosh said while delivering the keynote address at the TAAI Convention in Srinagar.

Enumerating on air connectivity, he said that it will aid domestic travel as well as benefits the hotel industry, and affordable airfares open up tourist destinations that were not earlier considered promising destinations.For Jammu & Kashmir in particular to reap the benefits of the growth potential, Ghosh urged Mehbooba Mufti, Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir to turn Srinagar in a 24/7 operational airport. “There is huge potential to grow air traffic to Srinagar. We need an enabling environment and the biggest help we need is to lower our input cost. If the tax on ATF is reduced from the current 26.5% on ATF to 1%, the state will be able to unlock the potential of aviation in the sector. Despite Srinagar airport being an air force airfield, converting it into a 24/7 operational airport like Goa would help the state turn into a 365-day destination. Moreover, it will have a multiplier impact with job creation for the locals in airlines, hotels, road transportation, and MRO.”

Citing examples of Udaipur and Goa, Ghosh said the former was earlier thronged only by high-end travellers. “However, in 2014, we started with 4 daily flights to Udaipur and average fares came down by more than half. Today the city offers accommodation for every pocket and the economy of the destination has also expanded. Similarly, the average daily domestic flights to Goa more than doubled in the last 9 years, along with the number of cities doubling. Today, 25% of the flight departures to Goa are between 9pm and 6am. In just a matter of few years, Goa turned from a seasonal destination to a year round 24/7 travel market.”
16/04/18 Disha Shah Ghosh/TravelBizMonitor.com