Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday asked national air carriers to provide world-class services and tap the opportunities thrown open by the booming aviation sector.
“Our airports, our airlines and all related systems must be world class and we must make every customer and client feel cared for,” Singh said at a function here to mark the launch of Air-India’s new fleet of aircraft.
The new fleet includes Boeing 777-200 LR planes that would fly non-stop between Mumbai and New York. The fleet also includes Boeing 737 – 800s, Airbus 321s, and A-310 freighters.
Singh said that opening up of the skies has created new market opportunities for civil aviation business in India, but the national carriers (Indian (Airlines) and Air-India) were unable to take full advantage of the opportunities at hand for variety of reasons, including shortage of aircraft.
Air India and Indian, which have been merged to form the
National Aviation Company, have separately placed aircraft procurement orders for a total of 111 aircraft.
“With the acquisition of these new aircraft, our national carriers will be better placed to take on competition both at home and abroad,” Singh said.
Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said more planes would be required for the growing aviation industry. “If we have to look ahead for growth, we will have to revisit the entire fleet requirement.I will urge the government and the Prime Minister to look into this aspect,” Patel said.
The Civil Aviation ministry would soon submit a proposal to the planning commission for acquisition of more aircraft, he said. Air-India Chairman and Managing Director V Thulasidas said the proposal would include a requirement of about 60 more planes.