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Updated: March 4, 2010 23:10 IST

Airbus sees big rise in India's aircraft fleet

Special Correspondent
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Miranda Mills, Vice-President, Sales, Airbus India, addressing press conference at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad on Thursday.
PHOTO: AFP Miranda Mills, Vice-President, Sales, Airbus India, addressing press conference at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad on Thursday.

The Airbus' global market forecast has projected that India's aircraft fleet will grow more than four-fold by 2028 with the carriers requiring 1,032 planes valued at $138 billion to serve strong demand for passenger air travel and freight.

Disclosing the details of the GMF at a press conference held on the sidelines of ‘India aviation-2010' here on Thursday, Miranda Mills, Airbus Vice-President, Sales, India, said 993 of the new aircraft would be passenger planes and 39 freighters. The number of new aircraft required by Indian carriers was the world's fifth biggest.

By 2028, Indian passenger fleet would almost quadruple to 1,163 aircraft.

The freighter market would grow nearly 20-fold to 210 aircraft, including 171 conversions from passenger planes. She said that India would be the fastest growing country for air travel for the next ten years with the domestic traffic increasing by an average of 12.2 per cent annually. Traffic growth would be among the world's highest averaging 7.3 per cent over the next 20 years as against the global average of 4.7 per cent. Ms. Mills said A 320 family was the clear preference of Indian carriers as it had a market share of 67 per cent. Airbus Engineering Centre at Bangalore would grow to 400 by 2012. The Bangalore Airbus Training India (ATI) would have the capacity to train up to 1,000 pilots each year.

Aggressive expansion

At another press conference, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker, said the airline would continue with its aggressive expansion and increase the fleet to 120 aircraft by 2012 from the existing 80. He said that unlike other airlines, Qatar Airways would be expanding the fleet and increasing the frequencies. Apart from the launch of non-stop flights between Doha and Bangalore last week, the airlines would be starting flights to Copenhagen, Ankara, Tokyo and Barcelona between March 30 and June 7.

With the airlines operating 71 services a week to 11 cities in India, he said it was proposed to increase them to 80 by operating daily services to Amritsar and Goa and another three frequencies to Kochi.

On the global aviation scenario, he predicted that it would continue to face turbulent times till the middle of 2011 and said that people should not get carried away by the upturn in traffic in the past few months.

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