India will need 1100 civilian and freighter aircraft in the next two decades, said the Toulouse (France)-based aircraft manufacturer Airbus at a media briefing in Mumbai. These would include 935 passenger jets and 165 freighters.
Airbus expects air travel in India, including outbound traffic, to grow at an average 7.8 per cent over the next two decades, faster than China (7.2 per cent) and the rest of the world (4.8 per cent), said Airbus' spokesman Justin Dubon.
"Domestic travel would, of course, be the biggest driver, which is likely to grow at 16.4 per cent," said Sanjay Sharma, Airbus' senior analyst, airline marketing. Air travel from India to the US is likely to grow at 7.9 per cent, followed by India to China at 7.8 per cent and to Asia-Pacific routes by 7.3 per cent, said Sharma.
Of the 965 passenger jets required by India in the next two decades, India will need many single-isle aircraft (712 jets), followed by medium range aircraft (121), long-range jets (58) and large jets (48), estimates Airbus.
"If the government relaxes the qualification norms for airlines to be eligible to fly abroad (from five years now), there could be sudden spurt in demand for wide-bodied aircraft from Indian carriers," said Sharma who's based in Toulouse.
But the real action in the next couple of years promises to be in freighters where India is expected to add 165 aircraft in the next two decades-70 small jets, 55 regional jets, 30 long-range aircraft, and 10 large jets. This will be driven by dramatic increase in domestic freight, said Sharma.
Airbus 380: Back on Track
Meanwhile, Airbus said that the A-380's recovery plan is on track after the delays it suffered last year. After receiving clearance from the US and European aviation authorities in December 2006, the A-380 achieved another milestone recently.
The first A-380, which will be delivered to Singapore Airlines in October this year, has completed its electrical wiring and is now in Hamburg for doing up its cabin interiors, said Airbus' press manager, communications, Justin Dubon.
"The recovery plan is on track and we will meet the new targets for delivery," added Dubon. Its next challenge would be to mass-produce the aircraft, which has 560 km of wiring with three levels of redundancies and other complexities.