European aircraft maker Airbus, which represents 80 per cent of India's order backlog, in its latest report said the country will require 1,880 new passenger and cargo aircraft by 2038 on conservative basis.
For the requirement, up to 20 per cent could be wide-bodies while 1,440 aircraft are for growth and 440 needed to replace the aircraft that will be retired during this period, according to the forecast. Taking into account the 440 retirements, India's existing domiciled fleet of 510 aircraft will quadruple to 1,950 by 2038 as per the Airbus projections.
These figures are based on Airbus' assumption that Indian middle class population will grow to 1 billion or 68 per cent of the total population by 2038 as compared to the present 540 million people coming in that bracket. The percentage of middle class people who travel by air will also be doubled from the present 10 per cent level besides a four-time increase in trip-per capita between now and 2038, according to the forecast.
The 20-year traffic growth in the Indian aviation sector is pegged at 7.7 per cent, almost twice the world average of 4.3 per cent.
Anand Stanley, president and managing director of Airbus India and South Asia, said the company had delivered one aircraft every week to India last year and it will continue to do so this year as per the existing delivery plans. Stanley gave the statement while releasing the Airbus India Market Forecast report at the Wings India 2020 - a biennial international civil aviation conference and exhibition in Hyderabad.
"India is already at the heart of Airbus operations as no Airbus aircraft is made without a component or a design element sourced from India, said Stanley while adding that the company has been working to double its sourcing volumes from the country to more than $1 billion by 2025.
Airbus has a 4,500-strong engineering and design team at its Bengaluru development center, a component manufacturing collaboration with Tata Group in Hyderabad apart from a 45-plus strong vendor base in India. The company's India exports spread across manufacturing, design and technology currently stood at $650 million.
Airbus has an order book backlog of 730 aircraft, one-third of them to Indigo Airlines, for India. Last year, it had delivered a total number of 78 aircraft to Indian airline companies. Apart from the civil aviation sector, the company was also looking forward to an opportunity in the fixed wing defence aircraft to India, according to Anand Stanley.
Responding to the ongoing impact of coronavirus pandemic on the global aviation sector, the Airbus official said their global market forecast was driven by long-term macroeconomic projections rather than short-term factors.