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India is world's fastest growing aviation market

Discussion in 'World Affairs' started by ashok321, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. ashok321

    ashok321 ELITE MEMBER

    Nov 1, 2010
    +5 / 9,994 / -2
    MUMBAI: India will be renegotiating some of the existent bilateral agreements it has with about 35 countries and will be signing new ones in the coming week as the fourth International Conference on Civil Aviation Negotiations (ICAN) began in Mumbai on Monday.

    The bilateral talks gain significance in the light that the Asia-Pacific region is poised to see an unprecedented growth in airtraffic this decade. For airpassengers, it could mean more flights from India to destinations in the Middle East, South East Asia and other popular international routes and new connections to destinations in Africa.

    In the coming week Indian representatives will sit across the table with officials of about 35 countries, including those in the Middle East and South East Asia, and negotiate ways to increase the number of international flights to and from India so as to address the growing demand for airtransport. Said an aviation official: ``Other than Third and Fourth Freedom rights, we will press for Fifth Freedom rights for our airlines." The Freedoms of Air are a set of commercial aviation rights granting a country's airlines the privilege to enter the airspace of another country and land there. Third and Fourth Freedoms give reciprocal rights to airlines to fly from one country to another and from another country to one's own. Fifth Freedom means the right to fly between two foreign countries during flights while the flight originates or ends in one's own country.

    Roberto Gonzalez, president, council of International Civil Aviation Organisation ( ICAO), while speaking at the inaugural session said that by 2030, the number of passengers from Asia Pacific will double from 2-6 billion to 5 billion and a large proportion of these will be from international flights. The conference, (organized this year by the ministry of civil aviation) held under the aegis of Montreal based UN body - International Civil Aviation Organization provides a platform for aviation negotiators from different countries to conduct bilateral air services negotiations. Gonzalez said that such platforms for negotiations are practical and cost-effective and the number of bilateral agreements signed during this annual event has been on rise. ICAN started four years ago, with the first one held in Dubai which had participants from only 27 countries. More than 300 delegates from 68 countries are attending the week-long conference.

    Underlining the growth potential for airtransport in India, President Pratibha Patil in her inaugural speech said that in the next ten years, domestic airtraffic is slated to touch 160 to 180 million passengers per annum, while international passenger traffic will be 80 million. ``India is already the ninth largest and fastest growing aviation market in the world,'' said Patil adding that the country expected to be amongst first five in the next ten years. ``But yet global comparison of air travel penetrations shows that India, at 0.04 airtrips per capita per annum stands far behind developed countries with more than two airtraips per capita per annum,'' she added. The President highlighted the importance of an economic regulator to create a level playing field, to promote competition, protect consumer interests and ensure better service levels. "One of the key achievements of India in the last decade, has been to set-up an independent regulator for economic regulation of airports by an Act of Parliament, with appropriate provision of an appellate body," she said adding that at present, India is the 9th largest civil aviation market. Patil said that deregulation of the domestic sector and liberalisation of bilateral traffic rights in the past decade has brought choices of carriers, choices of timings and fares.

    Outlining the importance accorded by the Indian government to the civil aviation sector, the President said that between 2005 -2010 US$ 10 billion have been invested in airport development in the country. She stressed the role played by the private sector and said the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model is the chosen model for new developments. "In next five years, we plan to expand the airport network and provide connectivity to tier II and III cities. In Metro cities where the existing airport cannot accommodate future growth, a second airport is being planned in the same city. New Mumbai is a case in example. As a policy, we will continue to build and replicate the PPP model with other airports." said Patil.