Headline - Airfares in India among 'lowest' globally: Sinha

Publication - Deccan Herald

Publish Date - 2017-03-23

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Word count - 267

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Edition - Online Web

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Language - English

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India has one of the lowest and "most competitive" airfares in the world despite high cost of planes and fuel, Union Minister Jayant Sinha said on Wednesday."These are the two most important costs for an airline. Our taxes are also quite high," said the Minister of State for Civil Aviation."But when you look at pricing in India, as far as Indian airlines are concerned, I can assure you that we are among the lowest and most competitive air fares in the world," he added.In efforts to make air travel more affordable as well as to connect unserved and under-served airports, the government has come out with the regional connectivity scheme.Under the scheme - UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik) - fares are capped at Rs 2,500 for one-hour flights."Our effort is to provide air services at an affordable cost and the regional connectivity scheme 'UDAN' is aimed at that," Sinha said.At an event organised by All India Management Association (AIMA), Sinha said the country's economy is delivering high quality products and services at very affordable prices for the consumers."We are a frugal economy because we are poor country... So we have to deliver products and services at price-points which are affordable. This forces us to really think about affordability and cost management at all times," he noted.In terms of purchasing power parity, India's GDP is around $8 trillion, while it is about $18 trillion for both the US and China.According to Sinha, India is growing at 7-8%, while the US is expanding at 2.5%, and in the case of China, the growth rate is pegged at 6%.