Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said on Tuesday that airfares in India are the lowest in the world on a per kilometre basis. He made the remark after controversy over his claim the previous day that it is cheaper to travel by air in India than in an autorickshaw.
“Today, the airfare is less than that of an autorickshaw,” Sinha had said at the inauguration of a new domestic terminal at Gorakhpur Airport on Monday, according to NDTV. “You will ask how is that possible? When two people take an autorickshaw they pay a fare of Rs 10, which means they are charged Rs 5 per km. But when you go by air you are charged Rs 4 per km.”
On Tuesday, Sinha clarified his remarks. “So, on a per km basis our airfare is the lowest in the world,” he said, according to ET Now. “I am not implying that you use planes for short distances. That’s not the point of the comparison, it’s just to be able to demonstrate how cheap our airfares are.”
The minister said air travel has become the preferred mode of conveyance because of affordable airfares. “The problem for us is on the supply side, not on the demand side,” Sinha said.