Making regional connectivity a reality

In a bid to make flying affordable for the masses, the National Civil Aviation Policy promises to enable Rs. 30 crore domestic ticketing by 2022, Rs. 50 crore by 2027 and increase international ticketing to ’20 crore by 2027. TravTalk asks experts what needs to be done to achieve this ambitious target.

TT BUREAU

The regional air connectivity scheme is a wonderful scheme that the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has launched. There is a lot of empty space there. So, I believe that we have to occupy that space. We are also making an effort to meet the government’s 2017 deadline for starting the regional connectivity scheme that promises one hour flight for a fare of Rs 2,500.
Ashwani Lohani, Chairman & Managing Director, Air India

We are not participating in the regional connectivity scheme as it is meant for a different segment in the market. However, we are about connecting regional in any case. Our first flight was not from Delhi to Mumbai but it was from Delhi to Guwahati and then from Guwahati to Imphal. So if there’s anyone who is a flagship carrier of the regions, it is actually IndiGo.
Aditya Ghosh, President and whole-time Director, IndiGo, India Travel Award Winner

Zoom Air is India’s newest national airline and we are pleased that MoCA has launched the regional connectivity scheme. We are working on the lines of the commitment made by the ministry that they will make regional connectivity a reality before 2017 and we are the ones who are making this true even before that with the launch of our regional flights connecting smaller cities like Durgapur, Jaisalmer and others across the country.
Koustav M. Dhar, CEO and Managing Director, Zoom Air

Regional connectivity is a great idea but it should have come 10 years back. Kudos to the government for having this concept as the key corner stone of the Civil Aviation Policy which has 22 chapters but the biggest emphasis on regional connectivity shows that the government is highly committed to it. This is not only a government job but at the end of the day the whole industry has to participate. So it should be a joint effort of the government, the industry and the regulators.
Amber Dubey, Partner-Aerospace and Defense, KPMG

Regional connectivity is not something that falls in our scope of business as of now. But this is a great initiative for the civil aviation industry in India. As far as flydubai is concerned, we are getting more aircraft in 2017 and we would like to expand in India but that expansion is subject to us getting more capacity being granted in the bilateral by the Government of India.
Pran S. Dasan, Regional Manager-India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, flydubai

Regional connectivity has a lot of potential especially for the North East states. Even places like Surat and Baroda in Gujarat will be well connected where people have money but they have no flight connection. There are a lot of possibilities of regional connectivity in India provided they develop all the small airports also.
Capt. Robin Cherian, Director-Business Development, K-Air

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