Hyderabad, March 8 - The Civil Aviation Ministry is hopeful of getting expression of interest (EoI) to buy Air India and Pawan Hans in the next couple of weeks.
Civil Aviation Secretary R.N. Choubey revealed this at the inaugural of the Wings India 2018 at Begumpet old airport here on March 8. The theme of the biennial event is 'India - Global Aviation Hub'.
Choubey said India, which had only 395 aircraft in 65 years, is poised to add 900 aircraft and the orders have been placed.
The country added 56 airports in two years, contrary to the practice of opening one airport every year earlier.
"The challenge is we need to double the capacity of our airports every five years to sustain the additional passenger footfall.
"To beat the land constraint we hope to bring in wide bodied aircrafts like Airbus 380 and making airports more efficient," he added.
Choubey said India had witnessed the highest growth of 17.5% in domestic aviation sector during the past three years in terms of Revenue Passenger Kilometres.
"If the oil prices are soft, we will grow at the rate of 15 per cent for the next 20 years," Choubey said. He urged the state governments to reduce VAT on aircraft fuel to encourage the aviation sector.
He said that under the UDAN scheme the Ministry will be renovating 400 airstrips and will keep the airfares low, enabling common man to fly.
Choubey said that the Ministry of Aviation has calculated that the airlines could sell eight million tickets every year with the addition of those who never travelled in a flight before the coming of the UDAN scheme.
Civil Aviation Minister P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju was to inaugurate the four-day event. He, however, did not turn up as he would be quitting the Narendra Modi cabinet following the Telugu Desam Party's decision over the Centre's refusal to grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
Telangana IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao has attributed the tremendous growth in the aviation sector to Ashok Gajapathi.
India's first ever e-cargo platforms Cargo-eGo a single window communication platform and Rigel an e-booking platform were also launched on the occasion.
As many as 125 exhibitors and 25 aircrafts were taking part in the event. Representatives from 25 states, 10 countries will partake in the discussions.