India and Russia today agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the aviation sector by setting up joint ventures in the field of manufacturing, as India is predicted to become the third largest global aviation market by 2020.
“The Regional Connectivity Scheme of the government of India provides an opportunity for strengthening cooperation in joint production and setting up of joint ventures in India in the field of aviation manufacturing to serve the demand created,” according to vision documents, issued after the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The move is aimed to cater to increasing exports and demands of India’s regional air connectivity scheme.
The Indian civil aviation industry is proving to be a booming market on a global scale. It has registered a growth of 19 pc in domestic passenger traffic from about 61 million in 2014 to 100 million in 2016-17, making India the third largest aviation market globally. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported India as the world’s fastest growing domestic air market for 22 months in a row. India witnessed a significant boom in the domestic aviation front, owing to low oil prices, which made for cheaper air fares. A thriving middle class essentially added to the growth. IATA stated, “India led all domestic markets in year-on- year growth for the 22nd month in a row. January traffic soared by 26.6 pc, marking the 15th consecutive month of 20 pc-plus annual growth. Demand is being stimulated by strong flight frequency.”
India is the fastest growing aviation market in the world and has become the third largest domestic aviation market in terms of domestic passenger traffic, beating Japan, according to Sydney-based aviation think-tank Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA). India’s domestic air passenger traffic stood at 100 million in 2016 and was behind only the US (719 million) and China (436 million), as per CAPA.
This is likely to grow manifold with the launch of government’s UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) scheme that seeks to take flying to the masses with airfares capped at INR 2,500 (USD 40) per hour.
The joint declaration also focuses on development of high speed railways, dedicated freight corridors, new technologies for efficient rail transport as well as ship-building and river navigation.