Hyderabad, March 13 IANS | 5 months ago

Boeing and Airbus, two of the world's leading aircraft manufacturers, Thursday raised their forecast for the growth of India's civil aviation for the next 20 years.


While Boeing said India need 1,600 new aircraft worth $205 billion, Airbus has put the numbers at 1,290 aircraft worth $190 billion by 2032.

Last year's forecast by Boeing was 1,450 airplanes at $175 billion while Airbus in 2012 had made a projection of 1,043 new aircraft valued at $145 billion.

Addressing separate news conferences at India Aviation 2014, the biggest civil aviation event of India, top officials of the two global firms said they were bullish about India.

Dinesh Keskar, vice president, sales, Boeing commercial airplanes, told reporters that their forecast was based on the thinking of civil aviation ministry and lot of things planned for the development of the aviation sector.

He pointed out that the ministry expects the number of aircraft in India to go up from 400 to 1,000 in six years. "Another 1,000 airplanes will be added in 14 years," said Keskar.

He said that the forecast is based on normal behaviour pattern and that they took into account infrastructure and policy framework.

Joost Van Der Heijden, Airbus head marketing for India, said Indian annual passenger traffic growth rates of 8.6 percent are well above the regional Asia Pacific average growth rate of 6.1 percent and the world average of 4.7 percent.

Of the requirement for 1,290 new aircraft, some 73 percent will be for growth and 27 percent for replacement.

The new passenger aircraft include 913 single aisles like the A320 and A320 family, 322 twin aisles like the A350 XWB and A330, and 56 very large aircraft such as the A380.

Airbus forecasts that 36 percent of India's fleet by 2032 will be wide-bodies, more than doubling today's level.

In passenger traffic term, domestic India is the fastest growing flow increasing at almost 10 percent per year. In 2032, India domestic traffic will be the world's third largest domestic market.

"Today one in 20 Indians travel by air and in 2032 this will increase five-fold to a quarter of the population taking at least one flight. Along with China, more people will experience the benefits of aviation for the first time in India than anywhere else," he said.

Airbus also believes that by 2032, India will have 13 cities with more than a million passengers every month against two cities today.

The company hopes this would drive the need for larger aircraft like the A380, the world's largest aircraft. It welcomed the recent decision by the Indian authorities to allow operation of A380 and hopes to bag orders from the Indian carriers.

Airbus is displaying A380, an in-service aircraft belonging to Emirates, at India Aviation.

As many 170 aircraft of the European firm are currently in-service in India. With over 60 percent of new aircraft orders from India, it currently has an order book of 350 airplanes.

(Posted on 13-03-2014)