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India will need 1,000 new aircraft by 2025

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Airbus A319 aircraft at Delhi Airport. Official photo

NEW DELHI (BNS): After Boeing's upbeat forecast on the Chinese aviation market, Airbus has come out with its projections on the Indian air traffic scene.

The European aviation giant has predicted that India would require around 1,000 new aircraft to pump an average annual growth of 7.7 per cent until 2025.

India's growth figure would be way above the world average of 4.8 per cent, Airbus on Thursday claimed in its forecast released in Hamburg.

If the growth rate is maintained at that level, one would see at least 1000 new aircraft flying in the Indian skies. Translated into hard cash, it would mean $105 billion. These are big figures for aircraft manufacturers who are looking not only to expand their base but also to strengthen their existing position, it said.

The predictions about India and China, the two biggest growth centres in the world, would mean the assembly lines of the aircraft manufacturers would be busy at least till 2025.

Airbus claimed the Indian market would require all sorts of planes. At least 40 A380s would be required by the country’s carriers. The European company, already a dominant player by holding 70 per cent of the domestic commercial aircraft market, expects to play a leading role in future.

Even as the predictions sound good, those associated with the industry, however, admit that the current times have not been good.

The rough patch began after a brilliant year in 2005 when Airbus was flooded with orders. The company got record orders for 299 aircraft that year.

However, presently the aviation sector is on the downturn. The company is not willing to give numbers about cancellation of orders from India. It hopes that the situation would not remain the same for long. With aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices coming down, it expects the passenger flow would become normal again.

At the moment, airlines are doing major cost cutting exercises by reducing the number of flights and wiping out loss making destinations from their routes.

Airbus, however, said growth potential in India is enormous as the market is nowhere near the levels already reached in the US, Europe or Australia. The general feeling is that the recession is temporary and after the Indian government initiated some corrective measures, a revival seems to be on the cards.

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