New Delhi: European aircraft maker Airbus Industrie is in talks with flag carrier Air India for sale of up to 12 superjumbo A-380 planes, as it looks for a greater presence in the world’s fastest growing civil aviation market.
Flanked by Chief Operating Officer John Leahy and Airbus (India) President Kiran Rao, Airbus chief executive officer Tom Enders said his company hoped to expand its relationship with India, which he termed as the “fastest growing (civil aviation) market.”
Leahy told reporters that Airbus was holding talks with Air India for sale of about 10 to 12 A-380 aircraft. So far, only Kingfisher Airlines among Indian carriers has placed orders for purchase of A-380s, delivery of which will begin from 2010-11. Earlier this month, Singapore Airlines became the world’s first airline to have inducted the superjumbo in its fleet.
“If orders are placed within the next couple of months, Airbus will be able to start delivery of aircraft by 2011-12,” Leahy said. The long range aircraft can enable an airline to fly to Delhi-Los Angles or Delhi-New York non-stop.
The Airbus COO said he hoped to see the A-380 in Indian skies “in the near future and not in distant future.” Rao, while emphasising on the growth of Indian civil aviation market, said that the company had so far sold more than 100 aircraft this year among its seven customers.
The estimate was that India would require 1,100 aircraft worth $105 billion (Rs4,13,122 crore) in the next 20 years, he said and added that the company is also focusing on the country’s cargo market which was also growing manifold.