India promises to be a bumper market for aircraft Cos

Highlights

India promises to be a bumper market for aircraft Cos. Boeing Co and Airbus SAS, at the ongoing India Aviation 2014, forecast a rapid increase in demand for new aircraft in the country over the next two decades.

Airlines in India would need 1,600 aircraft in next 20 years

Boeing Co and Airbus SAS, at the ongoing India Aviation 2014, forecast a rapid increase in demand for new aircraft in the country over the next two decades. They anticipate that more people would opt for travel by air as the domestic economy progresses. Boeing said airlines in India would need 1,600 new aircraft, valued at USD 205 billion, in the next 20 years. That’s higher than its forecast last year that India would need 1,450 new planes worth USD 175 billion in 20 years.

Toulouse-based Airbus predicted Indian Airlines would require 1,290 new passenger aircraft, valued at USD 190 billion, by 2032.

“About 73 per cent of these would be for fleet expansions and the balance 27 per cent for replacement of older planes,” it said.

Currently, Indian airlines together have around 400 planes that are operational and around 500 on order. India is the fifth-largest market for US-based Boeing in terms of civil aviation.

“India’s demographics are highly favourable to the growth of air transportation,” said Dinesh A Keskar, VP-sales, Boeing.

“The share of India’s large population entering the workforce is growing. India could have the world’s fourth-largest economy if current trends continue, helping drive demand for air travel,” he stated.

The country’s air passenger traffic, however, grew 4.43 per cent in 2013, reversing the decline of the previous year that also marked the grounding of Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, which was then India’s second-largest airline.

“By 2032, the number of Indian cities with more than a million passengers every month would have grown to 13 from today’s two (Mumbai and Delhi),” said Kiran Rao, executive vice-president (strategy and marketing), Airbus.

India’s scheduled airlines carried 61.42 million passengers in 2013, compared with 58.81 million in 2012 and 60.66 million in 2011, according to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Boeing expects that passenger airlines in India will rely primarily on single-aisle aircraft such as the next-generation 737 and the 737 Max, a new-engine variant of the market-leading 737.

“Single-aisle airplanes will represent 83 per cent of the new airplanes in the country,” Boeing said in a statement.

For long-haul traffic, Boeing forecasts twin-aisle airplanes such as the 747-8 Intercontinental, the 777 and the 787 Dreamliner will account for 15 per cent of new airplane deliveries. Boeing’s recently launched 787-10 and 777X are also fuel-efficient twin-aisle airplanes.

Airbus has the single-aisle A320 and A320neo aircraft, the twin-aisle A350 XWB and A330 planes, and the very large A380 jets.

Other passenger plane manufacturers that supply aircraft to Indian airlines include Bombardier of Canada, Embraer of Brazil and ATR of Europe.

“Airbus’s current market share of sales in India represents over 60 per cent of the country’s total aircraft backlog. In addition, since 2005, Airbus has enjoyed over 60 per cent market share of all new orders,” according to Airbus officials.

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