While the travails of Kingfisher Airlines may have been making headlines recently, the future of aviation in India appears rosy.
According to Airbus’ latest market forecast, Indian carriers will require 1,043 new aircraft valued at US$145 billion between now and 2030 to satisfy surging annual demand.
India’s market for new aircraft makes it the world’s fourth largest in both number of aircraft and value.
Indian annual passenger traffic growth rates of 7.2 per cent are well above the regional Asia Pacific average growth rate of 5.9 per cent and the world average 4.8 per cent.
Of the requirement for 1,020 new passenger aircraft, some 860 will be for growth and 160 to replace the eldest aircraft in the existing fleet of 327.
By 2030, this means that India’s passenger fleet will more than triple to some 1,180 aircraft.
The new passenger aircraft include 646 single aisles like the A320 and A320neo Family, 308 twin aisles like the A350 XWB and A330, and 66 very large aircraft such as the A380.
Growing urbanisation and population concentrations combined with a growing middle class and dynamic economic growth are driving demand and this trend is expected to continue.
Despite near term challenges, the Indian economy is forecast to continue expanding, helping India’s growth in domestic air travel to reach even higher growth rates of nearly ten per cent annually, making it one of the fastest growing aviation markets anywhere in the world.
“By 2030, India’s economy is forecast to be the fourth largest in the world creating exceptional potential for growth in the aviation sector.
“Through our Indian industrial partnerships we are proud to boast that every A320 today is partly made in India,” said Kiran Rao, president of Airbus India.