Air travel in India grew about 19% last year, compared with a 9.7% increase in China and 5.4% growth in the U.S., the International Air Transport Association said earlier this month. IATA expects India to become the third-largest aviation market in the world by 2026.
“India continues to have a strong commercial aerospace market and the highest domestic traffic growth in the world,” said Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president for Asia Pacific and India sales at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “With the new aviation policies in place, we see even greater opportunities and remain confident in the market and the airlines in India.”
India had in June unveiled a new civil-aviation policy that scrapped an earlier rule that restricted airlines from flying abroad, unless they operated domestic flights for a certain number of years. The liberalized policy is predicted to further intensify competition in an already cutthroat aviation market.
Earlier this month, low-cost carrier GoAir said it will buy 72 more Airbus A320neo jets worth about $7.7 billion. In 2011, the company had ordered 72 similar jets as part of its expansion strategy.
Last year, Indigo, owned by Interglobe Aviation, placed orders for 430 A320neo planes — making it one of Airbus’ largest customers — in a bid to build a 1,000-jet fleet eventually.
Single-aisle airplanes will continue to account for the largest share of new deliveries, with Indian airlines needing about 1,560 aircraft that will continue to support the growth of low-cost carriers and replace older, less-efficient airplanes, Boeing said in a statement.
Boeing expects worldwide demand for 39,620 new planes over the next 20 years.
In March, Airbus had predicted that India will order more than 1,600 new passenger and freighter aircraft valued at $224 billion to help meet the growth in demand in next 20 years.