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India to host IATA's annual global airlines summit after 42 years

IndiGo to host 81st IATA annual general meeting in Delhi next year

IATA

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Deepak Patel New Delhi

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India will host the world’s most premier aviation event, the annual general meeting (AGM) of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), next year, after a gap of 42 years.

This will be the third time the IATA AGM — considered one of the most significant events in the aviation industry’s calendar —has convened in Delhi, after 1958 and 1983.

The chiefs and various other top executives of almost all global airlines, aircraft manufacturers, and other aviation sector stakeholders gather once a year at the IATA’s AGM to discuss issues pertaining to the global aviation sector.

IndiGo, India’s largest airline by market share, will be the host airline of the AGM and the World Air Transport Summit, which will take place in Delhi between June 8 and 10, 2025, IATA announced on Monday.

About 330 airlines, comprising more than 80 per cent of global air traffic, are members of IATA.

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“We look forward to gathering the aviation industry in Delhi, India’s gateway city, for the 81st IATA AGM in 2025. It’s been over four decades since the industry came together for an IATA AGM in Delhi,” said IATA’s Director General Willie Walsh.

“With record aircraft orders, impressive growth, and world-class infrastructure developments, India is firmly on the trajectory to become the world’s third-largest aviation market within this decade. With such bright prospects, it’s the perfect time for the IATA AGM to return to India and witness these exciting developments first-hand,” said IATA’s Director General Willie Walsh.

IndiGo CEO Pieter Elbers said India’s rise in the global aviation landscape over the past years had been nothing short of remarkable. “India, becoming the third-largest economy within the next few years and leading the fourth industrial revolution with the use of AI (artificial intelligence), is a nation on the move,” Elbers said.

The decision to host the 81st IATA AGM in India was made at the 80th IATA AGM, which is currently going on in Dubai. Union Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said it was a proud moment for Indian aviation.

Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, the sector has grown tremendously with a record passenger count, development of world-class infrastructure, enhanced regional connectivity, and historic aircraft orders, he said. “I am certain that this will provide national and international stakeholders with a platform to further explore the Indian aviation market and open new avenues for collaboration and sustainability,” he said.

To meet the growing demand in the country’s air travel market, Indian carriers have made four huge aircraft orders since 2023. 

In February 2023, the Tata-run Air India Group placed an order for 470 planes—250 with Airbus and 220 with American planemaker Boeing. In June 2023, IndiGo made the world’s largest aircraft order by signing a deal for 500 A320neo family planes from Airbus.

In January 2024, the new airline Akasa Air placed an order for 150 B737 Max aircraft with Boeing. IndiGo had last month placed an order with European planemaker Airbus for 30 A350-900 widebody aircraft, with a deal size estimated to be between $4-5 billion. IndiGo is reportedly also in discussions with ATR to place an order for 100 turboprop aircraft.

India is expected to become the centre of world aviation in the next 15 years as the demand, capacity, and professionally-run airlines are present in the country’s aviation market, Edward Delahaye, head of customer accounts for India and South Asia at Airbus, had said in February.

India has about 800 commercial aircraft operating in its skies, and the majority of them are from European plane-maker Airbus. “If you add domestic traffic growth, gross domestic product growth in the country, recapturing a lot of international traffic from other international airports, and establishing India as a connecting place in the world, I think the prospects of Indian aviation are very bright, well beyond what we are seeing today," he had said.

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First Published: Jun 03 2024 | 3:04 PM IST

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