Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Tuesday, August 23 that India needed to develop an airport which would be a global hub for international flights.
More wide-body aircraft, anchor airlines at particular airports as well as synergy between domestic and international departures are required to have an international aviation hub in India.
An international aviation hub or a hub airport is the name given to an airport that airlines use outside their headquarters to concentrate passenger traffic and flight operations. Hubs are used as a transfer point to get passengers to their final destination.
The more places a hub airport provides access to, the higher the flight frequency at the hub which also leads to a higher footfall of passengers.
For that to happen, many things need to come together. There should be anchor airlines at a particular airport. Their fleet must consist of wide-bodied aircraft to transfer passengers internationally.
Also, there should be synergy between domestic and international departures. So taking one or two airports and creating a model of these, would be the first step. It’s a work in progress.
Some airports such as Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport had cumbersome transfers between domestic and international terminals which airlines had flagged as a roadblock to developing an airport as a hub.
“We had 140 million domestic travelers and 60 million international travelers pre-Covid in 2020. That is 200 million, which is expected to go to 400 million travelers in the future so there’s an opportunity beckoning at our door to make sure that we have an International hub here in India.”Jyotiraditya ScindiaScindia wants Indian carriers to buy more widebodied aircraft
Several countries that boast of hub airports, also have anchor airlines that bring a large chunk of traffic to them such as the United Arab Emirates two flag carriers Emirates and Etihad which bring traffic to Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively, or Turkey’s Turkish Airlines.
India is also projected to have a total of 220 airports including several heliports and aerodromes by 2026. The country’s civil aviation sector is on the recovery path after being hit by the coronavirus pandemic.