India's civil aviation sector has emerged stronger from Covid-19 and passenger traffic will surge to 410 million by 2024-25, surpassing the pre-pandemic numbers, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Friday. Before Covid struck, the passenger throughput (both domestic and international) was 344 million. With international operations set to resume from March 27, the minister exuded confidence that by 2022-23, the number will reach close to 300 million passengers and grow further to 410 million by 2024-25. The minister was speaking at the inaugural session of Wings India 2022, Asia's largest civil aviation show being held at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad. "I am confident in days to come, when you look at combination of domestic and international passengers, the throughput in India which was close to 344 million passengers in 2018-19 prior to Covid will reach close to 300 million by the year 2022-23 and by by 2024-25 we will surpass 410 million passengers creating a new history in India," he said. The minister said the aviation sector has gone through tremendous change during Covid.
"The number of air passengers in India in 2018-19 was 140 million but then we got hit by Covid but even through this Covid period between the first wave and the second wave and between the second wave and the third wave if there is one sector which reemerged strongly it is the civil aviation," he said. He pointed out that post the second wave the sector recovered to reach close to 3.9 lakh passengers per day against the pre-covid number of close to 4.1 lakh passengers. "We were almost back to pre-Covid numbers but then Omicron came and again those numbers dipped to 1.6 lakh passengers per day. Post third wave numbers have again come back close to 3.83 lakh passengers," he said. "I am very confident that our sector in days and months to come with the next year will surpass pre-Covid number of 4.1 lakh passengers per day," the minister added. He said the international passengers were close to 60 million in 2018-19 but fell to almost 10 million, "But today I am glad that from day after tomorrow we are opening up 100 per cent of international operations so that India can once again reconnect to the rest of the world."Scindia said buildings of airports and other infrastructure powers the economic growth. "Civil aviation has an economic multiplier of 3.1.
This means every dollar invested in the area of civil aviation yields economic output of 3.1 dollars. It is also an employment multiplier. The economicA multiplier effect is 1:6.1. It means that every direct employment created in area of civil aviation creates 6.1 indirect jobs. Both in terms of employment and output this is one of the largest employment and output generating sectors in the economy," he said. Airports Authority of India (AAI) chairman Sanjeev Kumar said domestic traffic has almost come to pre-Covid level and hoped that with the reopening of international air traffic from March 27, the international sector will also reach pre-Covid level soon. He exuded confidence that the double-digit growth would soon return to Indian aviation sector. Stating that various stakeholders had paused expansion decisions due to the pandemic during last two years, he said the time has come to resume working on these decisions. Civil aviation secretary Rajiv Bansal the sector is poised for remarkable growth. He said the growth would be across spectrum of the sector. He said UDAN scheme would be further strengthen to provide air connectivity to tier III and tier IV cities. Ministers from France, Laos and Nepal and delegations from 22 countries are participating in the four-day event organised jointly by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI). Various stakeholders have set up 125 stalls in the exhibition area spread over 8,000 square meters.