In the earliest days, when man was yet living in the lap of nature, the only means of locomotion must have been his legs. Gradually, he would have learnt to keep some animals and also to carry heavy loads through rivers.
Even to-day horses and camels are commonly used to carry heavy loads and men from one place to another. Water transport has also assumed new importance. Huge ships now carry cargo and passengers over stormy seas. As man's needs multiplied and he tried to march ahead on the path of civilization, he had to make new inventions. Steam power was harnessed and steam engine was invented. Trains, thus, started running. Motor cars and buses began to ply on the roads. But man was not satisfied with all this. He wanted to fly in air like birds. He carved for wings. This desire led to the invention of aeroplanes. So, this is the latest model of travel.
The unique feature of air travel is the fact that men, goods and mail can move quickly from any point of the global air network to any other by ay combination of routes, on a single ticket valid everywhere. This is the result of a massive system of bilateral agreements between governments, pains-taking arrived at since the end of world War II.
Civil air transport in India dates back to 1932, when Tata Sons and National Airways began operation with light, single engine air-craft for carrying mail. At the end of World War II, the air service in India operated with advanced types of aircraft on a daily frequency basis and linked most of the important administrative centers. Due to financial difficulties, Civil Air transport was nationalized on August 1, 1953. All the companies were merged into a single body the Indian Airlines Corporation. Since then excellent progress has been made.
Life is becoming more and more busy People want to save time in every way. There is no way out for such persons other than the aeroplane. There is no obstacle in air travel as we find on roads. Air-travel is most comfortable.
Air-travel has its own limitations. It is very costly. Only the rich can afford to travel by aeroplane. It is out of reach of common people. Besides this, air-travel is also dangerous. Whenever, there is some trouble in the machinery, or weather is not suitable, the plane may crash. Such accident proves fatal to the air traveler. As only the rich and the important persons travel by air, the loss in air accidents is of precious lives. Even the aeroplanes carrying the late Prime Minister Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, the late Sardar Patel and Ex-Prime Minister Moraji Desai were involved in trouble. The whole country waited restlessly for the news of their safety. Dr. Homi Bhaba, the renowned scientist of India, was killed in an air crash.
But in spite of these hazards of air-travel, man has not been deterred in his efforts. New types of air-planes are being introduced for air-travel. Air India International's entry into the jet age in 1960 opened a new chapter in air-travel in our country. Such jet planes re big and fast. They carry more than 260 passengers at a speed of 650 kilometer per hour and more. Recently, Air India has acquired Jambo Jets which can carry 360 passengers at a time, and which have a speed of 950 kilometer per our. Recently, a large number of our cities have been linked by aeroplanes and thus placed on the air-map of India. Air-shuttles are operated between these cities.
The tremendous and continuous progress made in recent years in speed, safety, passenger-comfort and convenience, is bound to make more and more people air minded. Air travel has brought with it new philosophies. Scientific progress is bringing about changes in he outlook of men. All these changes are certain to make the aeroplane more popular. The future of air-travel, in India and in other counties, is bright.