New Delhi, 21 July 2023: In a positive sign for the aviation industry, scheduled Indian and Foreign carriers reported a remarkable rise in the number of international passengers during the first quarter of 2023. According to provisional figures, there was an impressive 88% increase in passenger numbers compared to the first quarter of 2022.
The COVID-19 pandemic had severely impacted international travel, leading to a decline in air passenger numbers. However, the situation has taken a turn for the better after the resumption of scheduled international commercial passenger operations on 27th March 2022. The rebound in air travelers is seen as a significant step towards the recovery of the aviation sector.
Interestingly, while the international passenger numbers have surged, the market share of scheduled domestic airlines for international passengers has not shown a similar increase, as indicated by the provisional figures.
To further boost the aviation industry in the country and attract both domestic and international passengers, the government has undertaken several initiatives. The UDAN scheme has been implemented to enhance regional connectivity in the domestic sector, facilitating easier and more affordable travel options for passengers.
Moreover, in the international sector, India has opened up 18 tourist destinations for SAARC (except Afghanistan and Pakistan) and ASEAN countries, allowing designated carriers of these nations to operate unlimited flights to and from these destinations. Additionally, on a reciprocal basis, open sky arrangements have been offered to SAARC countries and countries located beyond 5000 km from Delhi, resulting in unlimited operations between India and these 23 countries.
The rise in international passengers and the government’s efforts to facilitate air travel bodes well for the aviation industry’s recovery and holds promise for the future of air travel in India.