Monday, March 08, 2021

Domestic Airlines Fleet in India Cross 700 Planes, 73 New Aircrafts Added in 2020: DGCA

India’s civil aviation sector, which was heavily battered by the Covid-19 pandemic, added over 20 aircraft during the year 2020. The inductions are considered to be a sign of revival as well as airlines reposing their faith in the long-term growth potential of the industry. Cumulatively, the country’s domestic airlines increased their fleet by 21 aircraft last year, taking the total count to well above the 700-mark.

In a conversation with IANS, Arun Kumar, Director General of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), said: “Despite the pandemic, domestic airlines added new aircraft to their fleets. “The country’s total commercial aircraft fleet reached 716 by the end of the last year.”

As per official figures, India had 695 aircraft at the beginning of 2020. Last year, 73 aircraft were added while 52 were sent back to the lessors by the airlines.

Recently, the Centre had notified the aircraft leasing business in India. The move is expected to give an imputes to the airlines for adding further capacity at cheaper cost.

In contrast to the capacity augmentation, the domestic airlines at present can only deploy up to 80 per cent of the per-Covid flight capacity. This restriction is set to be revoked once consistent per-Covid air passenger traffic level is achieved.

On the domestic traffic front, Kumar said: “We are seeing growth patterns in air travel but these trends are not consistent. It seems some more time is required for a consistent growth trend. Nevertheless, we see a sequential growth taking place. Lower base from March 2020 onwards will help in pushing up the growth trajectory.”

08/03/21 IANS/

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