Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, MoS, I/C, Civil Aviation said, Government of India has made more accessible the repatriation and International travel of over 20 lakh people through different means since 6th May 2020.
The Government of India has formalised air bubble arrangements with 16 countries like USA, Canada, France, Germany, UK, Maldives, UAE, Qatar, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Japan, Nigeria, Kenya, Iraq, Bhutan and Oman.
Lifeline Udan was launched to transport experts and equipment to every corner of the country during Covid-19 lockdown. Airlines operated 588 flights, flew more than 5 lakh kilometres and transported about 1000 tons of essential cargo. The airlines delivered testing kits and medical equipment to remote locations when movement by all other modes of transports was restricted.
UDAN – DRIVING THE GROWTH OF REGIONAL AVIATION SECTOR
UDAN scheme was launched for affordable regional connectivity. 766 routes were awarded after four rounds of bidding under UDAN out of which 284+ routes have been operationalised connecting 105 airports. 50 UDAN Airports developed & operationalised in 3 years as against 76 airports before.
Key Features :
1. 70% average load factor on the regional routes
2. Implemented economising measures within the scheme framework to bring down VGF requirements by 60% on select existing routes during COVID 19.
3. Start-Up and scale-up opportunities for small regional and MSME airlines.
4. 100 additional UDAN airports, 40+heliports and water-aerodromes to be connected.
5. Regional to Remote – North East (ACT East with Passighat, Tezpur) and Islands (Port Blair, Agatti)
MEASURES FOR AVIATION SECTOR
- In January 2020 Fuel Throughput charge was rationalised.
- Central Excise Duty on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) was reduced to 11% in October 2018.
- GST on MRO reduced from 18% to 5% with a full input tax credit from 1 April 2020. This will attract MRO business to India, leading to a lot of savings for airlines in maintenance and also the creation of jobs.
- Till now, only 60% of the Airspace was available for civilian Aircraft movement. Now, restrictions are being eased out. Air space rationalisation will save about Rs.1000 crore per annum for airlines
- The proposal to bring ATF under the ambit of GST is before the GST Council which has representation from the States as well