Source: European Commission
The EU-India Aviation Summit in New Delhi, jointly organised by the European Commission and Ministry of Civil Aviation of India, came to a conclusion. The event focused on EU-India air transport relations, including exploring the potential for deepening the EU-India aviation relationship as well as the shared challenges, such as growing air traffic, congestion, sustainability and maintaining safety in this very dynamic sector.
The two-day summit (20-21 April) confirmed the shared objective of further deepening EU-India political, technical, and industrial cooperation on aviation. Both sides are confident that closer cooperation will generate significant opportunities for their respective industries, strengthen consumer benefits and make air travel between Europe and India more efficient, greener and safer.
European Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean, and India’s Minister for Civil Aviation, Jyotiraditya M. Scindia gave opening addresses during the inauguration of the summit. Sweden’s Minister for Infrastructure and Housing, Andreas Carlson, represented the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU, while some 300 other dignitaries and leaders representing the European and Indian aviation sectors, including EASA, SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking and Eurocontrol, Airports Authority of India, Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Airlines, Airports and other stakeholders also attended the event.
The EU and India are strategic partners, and the EU-India Connectivity Partnership adopted in 2020 stresses our mutual interest in fostering connectivity dialogue and projects. India is among the world’s fastest-growing large economies and an important player in global economic governance. The EU is India’s third largest trading partner, accounting for €88 billion worth of trade in goods and more than €36.5 billion for trade in services.
The EU-India aviation market is also of strategic importance, with around 2.3 million passengers travelling on direct routes between the EU and India every year. Yet around 60% of all passengerstravelling between the EU and India connect via hub airports in other countries, showing the significant potential for growing the direct market. Currently, India has open skies arrangements with only six of the 27 EU Member States.
Aviation is a priority for the Indian government and industry, which have made significant investments in developing and modernising the sector to meet demand for air travel, and to address current and future challenges. The Indian aviation industry has experienced impressive growth over the last decade, with passenger traffic increasing from around 60 million in 2010 to more than 340 million in 2019.
Europe has created the world’s largest integrated aviation market – a market that serves 27 States and a population of more than 450 million, that transported over one billion passengers in 2019 – half of those domestically, within the EU, and the other half internationally.
The summit witnessed six panel discussions on various topics. Participants expressed their views on different subjects which included bilateral relationship between the EU and India, improving direct air connectivity, aeronautical innovation, aviation safety, and air traffic management. During the summit, a declaration of intent was signed by the Airports Authority India with Eurocontrol and a letter of intent was signed by India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation with the European Union Aviation Safety for closer cooperation.