New Delhi: With the civil aviation sector including airlines, airports and related services coming under financial stress on account of COVID-19 pandemic, the government took several major steps to revive it.
Replying to queries in Parliament which concluded this week, the Minister of State for Civil Aviation Gen (Retd) V.K. Singh said various policy measures were taken to provide support to airlines.
These steps included providing airport infrastructure through Airports Authority of India and the private operators, promotion of private investments in existing and new airports through the PPP route, an efficient Air Navigation System.
Air Bubble Arrangements were made to ensure fair and equitable treatment to Indian carriers in the international sector, Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate reduced to 5% from 18% for domestic Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services and a conducive aircraft leasing and financing environment has been enabled.
The government also made route rationalization in the Indian airspace in coordination with Indian Air Force for efficient airspace management, shorter routes and lower fuel consumption as also coordination with stakeholders to resolve issues.
The key outcome of these measures has been that despite the pandemic, domestic operations have reached about 50% of pre Covid level. Also the number of freighters has increased from 7 to 28, the Minister said.