Millennium Post

India’s aviation growth to be double of global average

Bullish on India as a marketplace as well as manufacturing hub, Airbus has already committed to source products worth $2 billion cumulatively over the next five years and it is now looking to provide customised maintenance and other services for all its airline customers in India closer to their base.

“India is very much on Airbus map for all the important work that we do globally and it is not just from the market perspective,” Airbus India Managing Director Srinivasan Dwarkanath said in an interview here at the Paris International Air Show.

“In terms of market, India will be one of the top three aviation markets globally in the next 20 years. It is already one of the fastest growing markets,” he said, adding that the country would need to double its aircraft fleet even if one <g data-gr-id="47">per cent</g> more of its population starts travelling by air. “We are expecting an annual growth rate of over 11 <g data-gr-id="48">per cent</g> for the domestic market in India over the next ten years, while the combined growth rate for domestic and international routes would also be more than 10 <g data-gr-id="49">per cent</g>.

That would be almost double the global growth rate,” he said. Dwarkanath said Airbus wants to be “very close to its customers and we want to be in India”.

“In our Global Market Forecast 2013, we had said that India would need 1,291 new passenger and freight aircraft by 2032.

“In just two years, more than one-third of this projected requirement has been met, which means more than 800 more would be needed by 2032. But it seems we would have to revise upward the forecast,” he said.

“If we compare it with other countries, the aviation penetration is very low in India, which provides huge growth opportunities. Even if one <g data-gr-id="36">per cent</g> more people start travelling by air, India would need to double its aircraft fleet.

“The growth prospect is huge and therefore I feel we may have to revise our growth forecast in the future,” he added.

Speaking about Airbus’ presence in India, <g data-gr-id="46">Dwarknath</g>, who is also the Vice President for International Cooperation, South and South-East Asia, said that for customer service it has got its own maintenance training centre to look at the aircraft that has been sold to the customers in India.

“This centre initially catered to customers in India, then we expanded it to neighbouring countries, now to even many far-off countries such as Mexico.

“We provide training to the engineers at this centre for customers across various countries through this centre,” he said.

Dwarkanath said, “We also have an Airbus preferred pilot training centre in cooperation with CAE and InterGlobe. We also want to set up our own training centre going ahead. 

‘Indian airlines doing better; need to get fares right’
Bullish on Indian aviation market, top aircraft maker Boeing has said that operating environment has improved for airlines in the country but there is a need to get the airfare metrics right to make profits. “We are very clear that the Indian market is going to grow at the fastest rate across the world. Our 20-year annual growth rate forecast for India currently stands at 8 <g data-gr-id="74">per cent</g> and we had estimated the country’s aircraft requirement at $205 billion. “But we will revise upward this forecast this month,” Boeing India President Dinesh Keskar said. Keskar, also a Senior Vice President at Boeing Asia Pacific, said at the Paris International Air Show that fundamentals remain good for the Indian aviation market, irrespective of the absence of any major announcements of orders placed by Indian carriers at the week-long show. 

“There are basically three factors that affect the aviation market -- fuel prices, exchange rate and the basic supply-demand ratio. “The first part, which is fuel prices is very much under control. The exchange rate may be still high, but it has broadly remained within a range and that is a positive. “The third factor, which actually determines the fare <g data-gr-id="92">and therefore</g> can impact the sector in a big way, is the only area where there is some concern,” Keskar said in an interview. He said: “I am hopeful that there would be an improvement on this front as well. The average Delhi-Mumbai airfare on today is just adequate enough to break even for an airline. 
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