India’s civil aviation fleet has witnessed a remarkable growth of 75 percent since 2013–14, reaching approximately 700 aircraft, and is projected to expand further to between 1,500 and 2,000 aircraft over the next five years, according to Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia. His statement comes in the wake of IndiGo’s announcement of a massive deal with Airbus for 500 aircraft. He emphasised that recent airline orders have surpassed the total fleet size of 2013.
Speaking about the development of airports, heliports, and aerodromes, Scindia noted that their numbers have doubled under the current government, increasing from 74 in 2014 to 148 in 2023, with a projected rise to 220 within the next 4-5 years. He said, “India should become a civil aviation hub”.
Addressing allegations regarding soaring airfares, he responded to opposition leaders, including Congress’ KC Venugopal and P Chidambaram, stating that the public has rejected their claims. He highlighted that the recent increase in airfare on certain routes was a consequence of the temporary suspension of operations by Go First and assured that those routes have already been allocated to other airlines.
While some have expressed concerns about rising airfare, industry experts like Michael Jain, CEO of Belair Travel, believe it to be a short-term phenomenon resulting from a demand and supply imbalance due to certain airlines not currently operating.