The year 2023 was a roller-coaster period for Indian aviation sector with many twists and turns as the industry witnesses the highest ever domestic traffic and also the demise of Go First.
Nevertheless, 2023 was an ‘eventful’ year for the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA). The ministry attained several milestones as India’s domestic air passenger traffic touched a record high and 60 new Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) routes were commenced in the outgoing year.
The single-day air traffic registered a record high since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. On 19 November 2023, airlines in India flew 4,56,910 domestic passengers.
Another major achievement was the commissioning of the fourth runway and Eastern Cross Taxiway at Delhi Airport. Under RCS-UDAN, 60 New RCS routes commenced from 1 January 2023 to 21 December 2023.
Six airports in Rourkela, Hollongi, Jamshedpur, Cooch Behar, Utkela and Shivamogga were operationalised.
With a focus on improving air connectivity in Northeast India, twelve new RCS routes were started in the northeastern states. 154 New RCS Routes were awarded under UDAN 4.2 and 5.0, according to the Civil Aviation Ministry.
According to statistics, more than 35 lakh people downloaded the Digi Yatra app. Civil Aviation Ministry has launched this app at 13 airports. These include Delhi, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Varanasi, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Vijayawada, Mumbai, Cochin, Guwahati, Jaipur and Lucknow. Since its launch, approximately 91 lakh passengers have used this app.
So far, tweleve greenfield airports, namely Durgapur, Shirdi, Sindhudurg, Pakyong, Kannur, Kalaburagi, Oravakal, Kushinagar, Itanagar, Mopa, Shivammogga, and Rajkot have been operationalised.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has processed 23908 number of flight crew licensing issues and renewal applications.
There was a clamour for a Final Assembly Line (FAL) in India from either Airbus or Boeing after the mega orders by Indian carriers and while that may not happen, Boeing, this year opened its largest facility outside the US at Bengaluru, built with Rs 1,600 crore investment.
Boeing India has set a Rs 10,000 crore/yearly target for increasing sourcing from India, from the current Rs 8,000 crore.
Airbus has also signed tie-ups with multiple organisations in India and procures components and services worth $750 million each year, which is set to increase.
At periodic intervals, the instances of attempting to open emergency exits made news this year. This was after the infamous 'urine-gate' incident on Air India for which even the regulator had to take note and instances of passengers being drunk.
While Go First shut down, Akasa Air and SpiceJet also said they are closing down in the court. For Akasa Air, it was in response to the case against pilots for joining rivals without serving a notice period. In the case of SpiceJet, this was when the court directed it to pay money in one of the multiple cases it is fighting.
Airbus has signed tie-ups with multiple organisations in India and procures components and services worth $750 million each year, which is set to increase.
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