The Indian civil aviation industry is on a growth trajectory again after being severely hit by the pandemic, and to meet the growing demand, flight operators will need over 2,000 new single-aisle airplanes and 240 new wide-body airplanes such as the 787 Dreamliner to meet long-haul demand in the next 20 years.

The aviation industry will require about one lakh new pilots, technicians and cabin crew personnel, according to Boeing’s South Asia and India Commercial Market Outlook (CMO). The report, with a forecast for the industry for 20 years, was launched at the Wings India 2022 in Hyderabad on Friday.

In the driver’s seat

It said India would drive the growth for the aviation sector in South Asia, accounting for about 90 per cent of the region’s passenger traffic. “India’s continued economic growth and its expanding middle class will fuel demand across South Asia for 2,400 new commercial jets valued at nearly $375 billion during the 20-year forecast period,” the report said.

Single-aisle airplanes will increase their share of total airplane demand to serve India’s vast domestic market and competitive regional market, which includes established carriers as well as start-up airlines. “Single-aisle airplanes such as the 737 family will continue to serve growth in domestic and regional markets, including flights from India to the Gulf countries and Asia Pacific regions,” Dave Schulte, Managing Director (Regional Marketing) of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said.

Increasing demand

With the demand for freight services coming back, the report said there would be a demand for over 75 freighters, including 10 widebodies in the next 20 years. “We are forecasting an annual growth rate of 6.3 per cent in air cargo, driven by the country’s manufacturing and e-commerce sectors,” said Schulte.

“Key elements that will promote continued growth in the region will be the competitive domestic market and opportunities in international routes, both backed by government policies to reduce airline cost and taxes,” he added.

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