India to have 2,000 planes soon

India to have 2,000 planes soon

NEW DELHI: The Indian aviation sector is witnessing phenomenal growth and there could be 2,000 planes in a short time, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said.nnHardeep Singh Puri told the Lok Sabha that the country’s aviation sector is the third-largest in the world and there is an annual growth of 17 percent.nnIn 2008, the number of passengers stood at 117 million and now it is around 440 million. It is expected to touch 1 billion, Hardeep Singh Puri said.nnWith the kind of orders for aircraft, the number could be 2,000 in a short time, Hardeep Singh Puri noted. The country currently has over 600 aircraft.nnHardeep Singh Puri was responding to a debate on a bill to amend the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) Act.nnHardeep Singh Puri said that he would ask Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to delink Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) from petrol and diesel.nnATF accounts for a significant chunk of the operational costs of an airline.nnThe cost of aviation is high as there are institutional constraints, Hardeep Singh Puri said.nnHardeep Singh Puri said that the debt of Air India is completely unsustainable and privatization of the airline would be pushed through soon.nnThe national carrier has a debt burden of more than Rs 50,000 crore.nnSource:Press Trust of India

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