In 5 Years, India Plans to Open 100 New Airports & 1k New Routes

India is reportedly planning to open 100 additional airports by 2024 as part of a plan to revive economic growth.

2 min read
Air India planes stand at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi. Representative image.

India is reportedly planning to open 100 additional airports by 2024 as part of a plan to revive economic growth in the country.

According to a report in Bloomberg Quint, the proposal to expand airports also includes a plan to start 1000 new routes connecting the smaller towns and villages in the country, all of which was discussed at a meeting last week, held to discuss India’s growing infrastructure needs by 2025.

Discussions also reportedly revolved around steps to be taken to “start a plane-lease financing business” in India.

These discussions come amid growing concerns with economic activity at a six-year-low and showing signs of a further downward spiral, PM Modi is reportedly keen to invest heavily in key infrastructure projects with the goal being to make India a $5 trillion economy by 2025.

However, India’s plans to expand its airport development are still not at par with China, which reportedly has set a goal of constructing 450 commercial airports by 2035, which is almost double the number of airports they had at the end of 2018.

The overall plan will also include increasing the domestic fleet of aircraft to 1,200 and planning for 600 pilots to be locally trained annually, sources told BQ with the Indian government committing to an investment of 1 trillion rupees towards airport construction.

According to the report, as of three years ago, only 75 of India’s 450 runways were functional as airlines were wary of flying to smaller towns with tinier airstrips. However, as many as 38 airports have been added thanks to Modi’s subsidy program. Also, contracts were given to airlines to fly to 63 airports with limited or no connectivity.

While several international airlines have set up local units in India, they are bogged down by provincial taxes that make jet fuel one of the most expensive globally. However, the government is reportedly looking to rationalise the tax regime as early as next year.

(With inputs from Bloomberg Quint)

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