India requires 2,210 aircraft, 34,000 pilots over next 20 years: Airbus

Air passenger traffic in India will grow at 6.2% per year by 2040, the fastest among the major economies and well above the global average of 3.9%, according to Airbus

Airbus said it will deliver more than one aircraft to India every week for the next 10 years. Photo: Airbus

India will require 2,210 new aircraft and 34,000 additional pilots over the next 20 years, according to aircraft manufacturer Airbus. That fleet could comprise 1,770 new small and 440 medium and large aircraft.

Airbus, in its latest India Market Forecast on Thursday (March 24) also said that the country’s air traffic will grow at 6.2% per year by 2040, and will need 45,000 new aircraft technicians in the next two decades.

The company said it will deliver more than one aircraft to India every week for the next 10 years.

“Over the next decade, India will grow to have the largest population in the world, its economy will grow the fastest among the G20 nations, and a burgeoning middle class will spend more on air travel. As a result, passenger traffic in India will grow at 6.2% per annum by 2040, the fastest among the major economies and well above the global average of 3.9%,” the company said at Wings India 2022 air show in Hyderabad.

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Remi Maillard, President and MD, Airbus India & South Asia, said, “We have seen India’s domestic market develop strongly with our flagship A320 aircraft. It is time now for Indian carriers to unlock the potential of international travel in and out of India, leveraging the country’s demographic, economic and geographic dividends.”

“Whether it is expanding existing airlines or supporting new airlines, there must now be a re-fleeting and rethinking about future-oriented solutions with technology that paves the way for sustainable long-range travel. The A350 is the perfect solution for that,” Maillard added.

India has witnessed an upward trend in the growth of air traffic over the last 10 years – with domestic traffic growing almost threefold and international traffic more than doubling. On international routes, India has only about 1/10th of the widebody fleet installed in similar markets, depriving homegrown carriers of a larger share of the profitable long-haul routes now dominated by foreign airlines, Airbus said.

In the Global Market Forecast 2021-2040, Airbus has forecast that in the next 20 years, the demand for new aircraft will progressively shift from fleet growth to accelerated replacement of older, less fuel-efficient aircraft. This will mean a need for over 39,000 new passengers and freighter aircraft, delivered over the next 20 years – around 15,250 of these will be for replacement of older less fuel-efficient models.

The demand for new aircraft includes around 29,700 small aircraft like the A220 and A320 families, as well as about 5,300 in the medium aircraft category such as the A321XLR and the A330neo. In the large segment, covered by the A350, a need for some 4,000 deliveries is expected by 2040, the company said.

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