Monday, November 05, 2018

Airports open all over India, as aviation industry rides an economic boom

Kishangarh: The prime selfie spot for residents of this central Indian city isn’t its decaying 16th-century royal fort or its world-famous marble market. It’s the terminal at Kishangarh Airport — a small, low-slung building that offers a new gateway to the world.

Air travel from the dusty boom town has become cheaper than renting a car, Devi Singh, a 77-year-old retired soldier from Kishangarh, told his friends over tea one recent morning, discussing the $35 no-frills one-way fare to New Delhi that launched last month.

“Even the sweepers can afford to fly now,” he said.

Kishangarh is one of 34 airports opened in the past 18 months in India, whose aviation sector has exploded in the wake of massive economic growth. In September, the civil aviation minister said $60 billion has been budgeted for 100 more in the next 10 to 15 years.
As millions of newly wealthy Indians take to the skies for the first time each year, the country is scrambling to transform colonial-era airstrips into plush airports, and suddenly stretched airlines are investing in new planes and recruiting foreign pilots.
05/11/18 Vidhi Doshi/Washingtopn Post

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