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Delhi - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on the government of India to maximize the potential contribution of aviation to India’s development by addressing infrastructure constraints that limit growth and government policies that impose excessive costs on aviation.
Growth forecasts for India indicate a trebling of passenger demand by 2037 when some 500 million people are expected to fly to, from or within India. Already aviation supports 7.5 million Indian jobs and 30 billion Rupees of GDP (1.5% of the economy).
Global connectivity that only aviation can provide is a critical driver of all modern economies. The financial struggles of India’s airline industry put the stable development of connectivity at risk. And India’s carriers are suffering a "double-whammy" of steeply rising fuel costs and the decline in the value of the Indian Rupee. The rise in fuel costs is particularly acute for Indian carriers for which fuel makes-up 34% of operating costs—well above the global average of 24%.
"While it is easy to find Indian passengers who want to fly, it’s very difficult for airlines to make money in this market. India’s social and economic development needs airlines to be able to profitably accommodate growing demand. We must address infrastructure constraints that limit growth and government policies that deviate from global standards and drive up the cost of connectivity," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
De Juniac’s remarks came in an opening address to the International Aviation Summit in Delhi, co-hosted by the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), the Airports Authority India (AAI) and IATA. The joint Summit commemorates the approaching milestone of 50-straight months of double digit domestic growth for Indian aviation.