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India will need 1,032 aircraft by 2028, forecasts Airbus

Hyderabad, March 4 (IANS) Airbus Industrie, a leading global aircraft manufacturer, Thursday forecast that India will require over 1,000 aircraft worth $138 billion by 2028.

According to Airbus’ global market forecast, India needs 1,032 aircraft by 2028 to serve strong demand for passenger air travel and freight, and to replace ageing fleets. Out of these, 993 are new passenger aircraft valued at $131 billion and 39 are new freighters valued at $9 billion.

Miranda Mills, Airbus vice president-sales, India, told reporters at India Aviation 2010 here that Airbus had revised upward the forecast for India in view of the economic recovery and revival of air traffic. The 2008 forecast had put the total number of aircraft under 1,000.

The rising demand for aircraft will take India to the fifth position in the top 10 countries in aircraft demand for two decades.

Airbus predicted that India will be the fastest growing country for air travel for the next 10 years with domestic traffic increasing by AN average 12.2 percent per year. Traffic growth will also be amongst the world’s highest, averaging 7.3 percent over the next 20 years compared to the world average of 4.7 percent.

By 2028, Indian passenger fleet will increase four-fold to 1,163 aircraft, it said. The freighter market will grow nearly 20 fold by 2028, mushrooming to 210 aircraft, comprising 39 new freighters and 171 conversions from passenger aircraft, it added.

‘The Indian economy is showing signs of rebounding and this will translate to new aircraft orders by 2012. Long term, the potential for growth in India’s aviation sector remains exceptional,’ Mills said.

Airbus said that by 2028, 14 of the top 20 airports in the world will be in the Asia-Pacific region and they will include Delhi and Mumbai. Asia will lead in world traffic by 2028, she added.

With 10 percent growth, domestic India will be the second biggest growth market after domestic Turkey. Deregulation, economic growth, population growth and inter-regional trade will be the drivers of this growth, it added.

Though 2008-09 was a difficult period in Indian civil aviation, it showed signs of recovery. The country’s domestic traffic is growing strongly again since June.

During 2009, Airbus delivered 27 aircraft to India carriers – 17 to Air India, six to Indigo and four to Goair. Airbus accounts for 70 percent of 508 aircraft orders in India.

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