Projections show India requires 1,600 new aircraft

Both the competing global aircraft manufacturers — Boeing and Airbus — are bullish on India and have revised upwards the requirement of new aircraft for the next 20 years with single aisle planes accounting for a majority among them.

At separate press conferences on the second day of the India Aviation show here on Thursday, Dinesh Keskar, Vice-President, Asia-Pacific & India Sales, put the demand for new aircraft across the world at 35,000 in the next two decades at a market value of $ 4.8 trillion. The largest sourcing for new aircraft was coming from Asia Pacific, while it was getting smaller from Europe and America.

With the passenger traffic growth expected to touch an average growth of 8.6, he said India would be requiring 1,600 new aircraft worth $205 billion and 1,330 of them would be single aisle aircraft, followed by 235 wide-bodied ones and a limited number of regional jets.

Referring to rupee’s volatility and higher fuel prices in India, he said the latter could become a potential dampener on air travel and the growth rate might be somewhat lower till the situation stabilised. Giving an overview of various commercial airplanes of Boeing, including 787 Dreamliners and 737 Max, he said the company received 1,030 orders for Dreamliners from 60 customers and 122 airplanes were already delivered. It would take seven to eight years to fulfil the backlog.

He said that development of 737 MAX was on schedule and the first delivery was expected to be in the third quarter of 2017.

Marketing Head of Airbus, Asia, Joost van-der Heijden, said that as per the revised forecast of its market outlook for India, there would be a requirement of 1,291 new passenger and freight aircraft valued at $ 190 billion between now and 2032. He said India’s annual passenger traffic growth rates of 8.6 were well above the regional Asia-Pacific average growth rate of 6.1 per cent and the world average of 4.7 per cent.

About 73 per cent of the new aircraft would be for growth and 27 per cent for replacement. Of the 1,291 required aircraft, 913 would be single aisle ones like A-320, 322 twin aisles like A-350 XWB and A-330 and 56 very large aircraft like A-380.

He said the total order book for A 380 was 324 and 124 were already delivered to 10 operators. He said the Airbus was expecting a number of routes in India for A-380 because of the increasing volumes.

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