India needs 1,043 aircraft over next 20 years: Airbus

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Published: March 16, 2012

Airbus forecasts that India will need 1,043 new aircraft over the next 20 years.

Despite the current climate in India’s aviation industry, the airframer was optimistic about the outlook.

These 1,020 passenger and 23 freighter aircraft are valued at $ 145 billion, said Airbus head of marketing for India Joost Van Der Heijden at a press conference at the India Aviation air show.

Of the 1020 passenger aircraft, 160 will replace retiring aircraft, while the remaining will cater to the strong demand growth expected in India. Airbus expects 646 aircraft to be single aisle, 308 to be twin aisle and the remaining 66 to be very-large aircraft such as the Airbus A380.

“Globally, we target 50% of the market. In India, we hope to have a very strong position as well,” said Van Der Heijden when asked how many of the 1,043 new aircraft Airbus expects to supply.

“Despite [the] near-term challenges, the Indian economy is forecast to continue expanding, helping India’s growth in domestic air travel to reach even higher growth rates of nearly 10% annually,” said Airbus.

When asked whether the manufacturer is concerned about the financial situation of some of its customers such as Kingfisher, Van Der Heijden would only say he expects strong demand in the region to continue and thus the continual need for more aircraft.

He also declined to comment on whether the manufacturer foresees any upcoming order cancellations from India.

Airbus’ forecast also places India as the world’s fourth-largest market in terms of aircraft numbers and value.

India’s annual passenger traffic growth rates stands at 7.2%, above Asia-Pacific’s growth of 5.9% and almost double the world average.

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