Singapore, UAE and Germany have sought permission to operate A380 — the world’s largest commercial aircraft — to India, aviation minister Vayalar Ravi said. India is yet to give consent to operate the super jumbo. Delhi and Hyderabad airports are capable of handling the aircraft.
“It’s not for us to criticise (the government’s decision not allowing the A380),” Kiran Rao, president, Airbus (India) told Hindustan Times.
“Opening up India’s airports to A380s would mean that the domestic Indian airlines simply wouldn’t be able to compete with that sort of influx and would lose huge amounts of traffic too,” said Saj Ahmad, a London-based aviation analyst.
“Those are the key reasons why the Indian government has resisted allowing the A380 to fly into the country while it effectively protects its national airlines from greater competition,” he said.
No Indian airline has ordered an A380 except Kingfisher, which too has postponed the deliveries repeatedly. Airbus estimates that Indian carriers will need over 60 A380’s by 2028.
“Any airline flying international out of India would be a customer for the A380 in future,” Rao said. “With the sort of traffic growth and congestion in places such as Delhi and Mumbai, the only airplane that will deliver and cope with the growth rates and demands of having a low cost operation is A380,” he said.
“With India’s airport infrastructure still developing, the need for the A380 is not as compelling. If you look at the congested hubs today, more make use of increased flights as opposed to using bigger airplanes,” Ahmad said.