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Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday said the number of planes will increase to 2,000 in short to medium term from 540 aircraft when Jet Airways discontinued operations. Crisis-hit Jet Airways stopped flying on April 17 this year and subsequently, its lenders on June 17 moved the NCLT. Speaking at the CII-CBRE real estate conference, the minister said there are very few companies running airlines globally making money in the aviation sector, possibly due to wrong business model and corporate governance issues, or both. "When jet airways stopped operation we had 540 planes in the air, today we have 690 planes in the air and we are in short to medium term looking something close to 2,000 planes in the air if we look at the order book of Indian aviation companies," he said. Puri informed that most of the country's airports are "going green". Talking about liquidity issue, the minister said when something goes wrong in a major sector, the industry expects a bail out from the government.
However, he said the government can help to some extent "but the government cannot be held responsible for omission and commission in the corporate sector which results in business failure". Citing an example of the airline sector, he said aircraft manufacturers, the people who run airports and ticketing companies are making a lot of money, even as the minister wondered why some of the airlines are not able to make profit. "But some of the people who run airlines..., and this is not Indian phenomenon, this is global.
Is it a business model problem or corporate governance problem. It could be both," he said. He said corporate governance should ensure that right decisions are taken.