'COVID-19 to not impact Airbus for long term'

Airbus bullish on India; No long-term effect of coronavirus, says top executive

India would require 1880 new passenger and cargo aircraft between now and 2038, according to Airbus latest India market forecast.

In the next two decades, Indian air traffic is projected to increase at 8.2 per cent per year, making it the world’s fastest-growing market.

Stating the new aircrafts requirement as in response to such strong demand, Airbus said that of these aircraft, up to 20 per cent could be widebodies.

“Some 1,440 aircraft are for growth and 440 are needed to replace aircraft that will be retired. Considering the 440 retirements, India’s existing domiciled fleet of 510 aircraft will quadruple to 1,950 by 2038,” said the forecast released on the sidelines of Wings India 2020 – an international aviation expo - at Hyderabad on Thursday.

A major share of Airbus operations in India are from Bangalore. Airbus, the company senior executives said, is delivering one aircraft per week in India.

“Today, every Airbus commercial aircraft is partly made in India and we are working to double our sourcing volumes from the country to more than US $ one billion by 2025,” said Anand Stanley, President and Managing Director, Airbus India & South Asia. 

In response to a question about the impact of the coronavirus, declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation, Stanley said, “Cyclical, short-term events are unlikely to impact our projections since such eventualities, acts of god are already factored in our assessment. We are bullish on India.”

India is set to become one of the world’s largest economies, with some of the world’s fastest-growing cities in terms of GDP including Hyderabad, Chennai and Bengaluru. In the next 20 years, air transportation is expected to be a key enabler and a beneficiary of this economic growth. Rising wealth and urbanisation, and the Indian government’s ambitious regional connectivity programmes are all growth drivers, the report of the aircraft maker said.

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