The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called for an ‘India Inc’ approach to resolve India’s aviation crisis and improve competitiveness to drive economic and social benefits. “Indian aviation is in a multi-faceted crisis. Before aviation can deliver greater benefits to the Indian economy, this crisis must be resolved with coordinated public policies. It’s time for a grand plan to build India’s aviation future and thereby strengthen the Indian economy. To do that, we need an ‘India Inc’ approach that addresses the crippling issues of high costs, exorbitant taxes and insufficient infrastructure,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO in his keynote address to the Confederation of Indian Industry.
Aviation in India supports 1.7 million jobs, 0.5 per cent of GDP and 90 per cent of international tourist arrivals. “That’s impressive but it could and will be much more. Today, India is a market of about 100 million passengers annually. Looking ahead, if Indians travelled as much as Americans, we would see a market potential of over two billion travellers,” said Tyler. Despite this great potential, India’s airline industry is struggling financially. Indian airline losses approached US$ 2 billion for the year ended March 2012, after losing an estimated US$ 3.5 billion over the three previous years.