<p>The Asia-Pacific (Apac) region is expected to provide a boost to the civil aviation sector that it badly needs, led by expanding Indian and Chinese markets, according to Union minister of civil aviation, Ajit Singh.
“The global economy faced rough weather in 2011. The effects of rising fuel costs, the European debt crisis etc were felt across the world. The aviation industry also felt the tremors. As per estimates, cargo markets worldwide contracted by 0.7%. Growth in demand lagged behind the increase in capacity for both passengers and cargo segments, putting downward pressure on load factors and yields. The skies are not expected to clear any time soon and 2012 could prove to be equally challenging,” he said.
Inaugurating the third edition of India Aviation Show, an international exhibition on civil aviation that took off at Hyderabad on Wednesday, Singh said as per market estimates, European airlines were going to be hit the hardest in 2012.
“This trend is seen to continue over the next few years, shifting aviation’s centre of gravity eastward. However, by 2015, Asia-Pacific is expected to account for 37% of the passenger traffic, while traffic associated with Europe and North America will fall to 29%,” he said.
The global aircraft fleet is expected to double by 2030. And, the Asia-Pacific will account for about a third of all new aircraft deliveries. For the civil aviation ministry, Asia-Pacific region is projected to account for two-third of the profit forecast for 2012, the minister said.
According to Singh, in the last decade, India has made tremendous strides in aviation with traffic carried by domestic airlines growing nearly six-fold from 13 million to around 60 million in 2011.
“Moreover, the domestic passenger growth is expected to continue to grow at the rate of 9 to 10% in the coming years. India is the fastest-growing civil aviation market in the world and by 2020 will be among the first three markets with about 420 million passengers being handled by the Indian airport system, as against 140 million in 2010. Indian airspace will see nearly 3.2 million aircraft movements, including over-flying,” he added.