Airport Expansion, Development To Continue Expeditiously: FM

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announces swift expansion of Indian airports, with the aviation sector seeing remarkable growth.
Airport Expansion, Development To Continue Expeditiously: FM

The expansion of existing airports and development of new airports will continue expeditiously, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Thursday and emphasised that the country's aviation sector has been galvanised in the past 10 years.

Presenting the interim Budget for 2024-25, Sitharaman said in the last 10 years, the number of airports has doubled to 149, adding that Indian carriers have pro-actively placed orders for over 1,000 new aircraft.

India is one of the fastest growing civil aviation markets in the world and domestic air passenger traffic is on the rise.

"Roll out of air connectivity to tier-two and tier-three cities under UDAN scheme has been widespread. Five hundred and seventeen new routes are carrying 1.3 crore passengers," she said.

Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN) or the regional air connectivity scheme is mainly aimed at making flying more affordable.

"Expansion of existing airports and development of new airports will continue expeditiously," the minister said.

Three domestic carriers -- Air India, IndiGo and Akasa Air -- have together ordered a total of 1,120 planes in less than one year.

Last month, Akasa Air announced an order for 150 Boeing 737 Max aircraft. In 2023, Air India and IndiGo together placed orders for 970 planes with Boeing and Airbus.

Tata Group-owned Air India ordered 470 planes -- 250 from Airbus and 220 from Boeing -- in February last year. Later in June, the country's largest airline IndiGo announced an order with Airbus to buy 500 narrow-body planes.

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