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NEW DELHI : India will have to look at the hub and spoke model to fly more passengers from and into the country, civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Thursday.

Speaking at PHDCCI annual general meeting, Scindia said the aim should be to make India a robust aviation hub, which will enable more passengers to fly from here to different parts of the world and vice versa.

"We have to look at putting in place systems that allow connectivity on long haul travel, to places like Europe, where we currently have one or two airlines flying to such destinations," Scindia said.

At present, Air India flies extensively to Europe and North America. Besides, the national carrier, Vistara, a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, operates flights to Europe.

To connect places like Europe, North America, South America, parts of Central Asia, the hub and spoke model is what India has to look at, and therefore the creation of an aviation hub in the country is extremely important, Scindia added.

A hub is a central airport that flights are routed through, and spokes are the routes that planes take out of the hub airport.

Some popular examples of this are airports in Middle East cities like Dubai, Abu Dhabi (UAE) and Doha (Qatar).

Scindia also said about 20-40 million Indians who currently travel by trains will switch over to commercial airlines for their travel needs in the coming years.

"Within the next five to six years you are going to see an environment where the mode of travel, civil aviation will overtake AC class in railways," Scindia said.

"The runway is immense and today we are just entering the taxiway," he added.

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