On per km basis, airfare cheaper than auto fare: Aviation Minister Jayant Sinha

On per km basis, airfare cheaper than auto fare: Aviation Minister Jayant Sinha
Sinha’s comment on the low cost of flying comes in the backdrop of Indian airlines posting massive losses (Picture Courtesy: Mashable)

Minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha on Monday claimed that, on a per kilometre-basis, airfare is cheaper than auto-rickshaw fare.

Speaking at the inaugural event of the new domestic terminal building of Gorakhpur Airport, he said, “Today airfare is less than that of an auto-rickshaw. You will ask how is that possible? When two people take an auto-rickshaw they pay a fare of Rs 10 which means they’re charged Rs 5 per kilometre but when you go by air you are charged Rs 4 per kilometre.”

The minister’s statement invited backlash and ridicule from netizens, with some questioning Sinha if taking a flight to travel between traffic-prone spots in metro cities was even an option.

The union minister took cognizance of the same and issued a clarification earlier today.

“I do not imply by any means that you should take an airplane for short distances. It’s just to emphasise that if you compare airfares to other modes of transport, they are quite affordable,” he said.

Sinha further said that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, the aviation sector has seen maximum development, adding that the number of people commuting via airplane has increased two-folds in 2018.

“Till 2013, approximately only six crore people were traveling in flights, but now the figures have improved. At present, as many as 12 crore people residing across the country are using airlines as a mode of transport. Earlier there were only 75 airports but today there are as many as 100 airports which are operational all over India,” he added.

Sinha’s comment about the low cost of flying comes in the backdrop of Indian airlines posting massive losses.

According to a study by CAPA India, Indian airlines are expected to post combined losses of up to USD 1.9 billion this financial year amid rising costs and low airfares, despite catering to the fastest-growing domestic aviation market in the world.

View Realtime Updates