Airbus upgrades aircraft sale forecast for India

Hyderabad, March 17 (IANS) With Indian aviation market registering healthy growth in 2015 and expected to become world’s leading emerging market over next 20 years, Airbus has upgraded aircraft sale forecast for India by 300 aircraft.

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According to Airbus’ latest global market forecast for 2015-2034, India will require over 1,600 new passenger and freighter aircraft to help meet growth in demand. Valued at $224 billion, these will include 1,230 new single aisle aircraft and 390 wide body passenger and freighter aircraft.

According to the leading aircraft maker, traffic serving the Indian market is set to grow at 8.4 percent per year over the next 20 years, well above the world average of 4.6 percent. Domestic Indian traffic will grow more quickly at 9.3 percent – making India the world’s leading emerging aviation market.

Bullish over the growth in the Indian market, Airbus received 250 new orders during 2015.

The company officials, however, clarified that this does not include orders from now defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

The orders received last year include orders for 250 A320neo by IndiGo, which it termed as the world’s largest civil aviation order. The other orders include 72 A320neo by Go Air.

Joost Van der Heijden, vice president, marketing, Asia, Airbus told reporters on Thursday at India Aviation 2016 here that on an average one Airbus aircraft will be delivered per week in India over the next 10 years.

He said 56 percent of India’s in service fleet are Airbus aircraft operated by most leading Indian carriers.

Air traffic growth is driven by factors such as urbanisation, the growing middle classes, tourism and trade. India’s population is set to surpass China’s by 2025, and according to Oxford Economics, the number of Indian middle classes will top 600 million people, more than double that of the United States. By 2034, Indian passengers on average will each make four times as many flights as they do today, the company said.

By 2035, the number of Indian cities with over one million monthly air passengers will more than triple.

Srinivasan Dwarkanath, president, Airbus Division in India, said make in India is at the heart of Airbus’ strategy in India. Its engineering facility in Bengaluru, set up in 2007, has more than 400 engineers and the company is supporting 6,000 jobs in the country.

“Every Airbus aircraft from our assembly line is partly made in India,” he said. The cumulative procurement from India reached $500 million last year and it is expected to reach $2 billion by 2020.

Replying to a query, he said Airbus was committed to look for a partner to set up MRO facility in India.

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