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HYDERABAD : Airlines in India will require about 2,100 new planes over the next two decades, including 1,770 small, and 440 medium and large planes, European planemaker Airbus SE said.

“Over the next decade, India will have the largest population in the world, its economy will grow the fastest among the G30 nations, and a burgeoning middle class will spend more on air travel," Airbus said in its latest India Market Forecast released on Thursday. “As a result, passenger traffic will grow at 6.2% per annum by 2040."

According to data compiled by Airbus, India will need 34,000 more pilots and 45,000 technicians in the next 20 years.

Speaking at the biennial Wings India event at Hyderabad, Remi Maillard, president and managing director, India and South Asia, Airbus, said that in 2019, 74% passengers on long-haul routes from India took connecting flights through international hubs. “Wide-body fleets of Indian airlines are mostly stagnant," Maillard said.

There is an untapped potential and opportunity to rebalance India’s long-haul market share. Maillard said the third largest aviation market in the world has only 57 wide-body aircraft across its fleet, compared to 458 in China and 686 in the US. The long-haul market share of Indian airlines is 14%, against 43% of China and 38% in the US.

“We believe the A350 will trigger a tectonic shift, a change of paradigm in long-haul travel that matches the aspiration of India and its people," Maillard said.

Wide-body fleets have remained mostly stagnant for 20 years while single-aisle fleet multiplied by a factor of six, he said adding, “The growth in the Indian domestic market for the last 20 years will be seen in the international market now."

Media reports indicate that Airbus is in talks with Tata Group for supplying A350 planes to Air India, which has a fleet of Boeing 787 and Boeing 777 wide-body aircraft that are used for long-haul destinations such as the US and Europe.

While Air India has an ecosystem for Boeing wide-body aircraft, production constraints have delayed deliveries of 787 planes. Boeing Co. has not delivered these planes to any airline since May 2021.

The long-haul market from India will gain massively in the next decade, Maillard said. US is the most lucrative international market for India, but Indian airlines have been able to garner only 12% of passenger revenue on this route in 2019, while Middle Eastern carriers account for 40%, and European airlines for 25% of revenue on this route.

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Engine issues resolved: P&W

Aircraft engine maker Pratt & Whitney (P&W) on Thursday said that issues with the company’s gear turbo fan (GTF) engines powering Airbus A320neo have been addressed, and it expects more orders from Indian airlines in the near future.

“We have worked with the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) and airlines and our engine powered aircraft is working fine in India today," Mark S. Cryan, vice president -customer relations for India, PW, said at the Wings India 2022 event

 

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