Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha raised eyebrows on Saturday while lauding the strides airline industry has made over the years in India. Sinha claimed that air travel has been made so cheap in the country that a ride on autorickshaw is more expensive today than travelling by plane. He further lionised Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) for making it possible and championed the remark of “man wearing slippers is travelling by air now” given by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

While speaking at 27th International Management Conference of the Indore Management Association (IMA), MoS Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said, “In today’s India, the fares of aeroplanes are lower than that of autorickshaws. Some people will say that I’m talking nonsense, but this is true.” He then went on to explain his claim by giving a step-wise breakdown of the airfares and autorickshaw charges.

Sinha gave a meticulous analysis, he said, “These days, passengers spend only Rs 5 per kilometre on air travel from Indore to Delhi. But if you take an autorickshaw in this city, then you need to spend a relatively higher price of Rs 8 to ten per kilometre.” He further said that India has the cheapest airfares in the world and hence the people are frequently opting for it.

Jayant Sinha also shed light on the targets of the ruling BJP party for the airline sector. He said that four years ago, number of air travellers in India were 11 crore and by the end of the current year, they are projected to cross the 20 crore-mark. He also stressed that the government is currently focusing on increasing the number of air travellers to 100 crore in the coming years.