NEW DELHI: Domestic tariff caps will continue until domestic air traffic stabilizes for a quarter and jet fuel (ATF) prices fall from their current stratospheric levels. Union Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Wednesday those caps – the last remaining special measures in the pandemic era, bar face masks and improved hygiene – would continue to protect consumers from high spot fares and airlines from predatory fares.
Scindia said: “Air traffic has picked up steadily after we lifted all capacity caps. However, ATF prices are at an all-time high. I’ve persuaded the states to cut taxes on kerosene, but the same thing still stands at the major hubs of Delhi and Mumbai. finmin is considering a reduction in excise duty on ATF. Until air travel remains consistently healthy for a quarter and fuel prices fall, domestic tariff caps will remain in place.”
The minister was recently in the US and Canada, where he focused on electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOL) for urban mobility, alongside major aerospace companies such as Boeing and Airbus. “I have invited eVTOL technology providers, including BLADE, which has a JV in India, to come here and explore setting up production units both for use in India and for export from here to the rest of Asia to see the Routes needed to study here and there infra in terms of charging stations. They have shown great interest.”
Blade India MD and co-founder Amit Dutta, who leads the Urban Air Mobility Task Force for CII, told TOI that Scindia has invited BLADE to launch electric vertical air vehicles simultaneously in the US and India in early 2024 (expected launch date upon receipt all FAA). and EASA approvals). “The Blade team will be coming back here in July and I will be speaking to other electric vertical vehicle (EVA) manufacturers in the US to do the same. They will examine the climatic conditions here and the regulatory framework,” said Dutta.
In a presentation to the Air Ministry, Dutta said India’s road network has grown by 33% while car registrations have increased by 300%. “With cities congested and limited space to expand roads, air taxis and air taxis are the future,” said Dutta, who is traveling to New York next week to help make the government’s vision for EVA a reality.
Scindia is said to have told EVA manufacturers in the US and Canada that given the focus on enhancing urban mobility through all possible modes of transport, India offers a unique opportunity, with flying taxis being the future. “They are all very excited about India,” said Dutta.
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