India is playing an increasingly important industrial role for Airbus as the country’s air transportation market continues to expand.
Airbus is establishing a world-class pilot and maintenance training centre in the National Capital Region of Delhi, to support the county’s need for new Airbus pilots.
The investment in a training centre is a key strategic Airbus initiative in line with the country’s “Skill India” programme, which was launched in 2015 by the Indian Government to develop a wide range of advanced competencies.
The centre will be fully owned by Airbus Group India with training to be delivered by Airbus’s specialised training instructors.
The centre will be built in order to accommodate four A320 full-flight simulators, with potential to expand further.
India provides huge aerospace growth opportunity
According to Airbus’s latest global market forecast, India requires over 1,600 passenger and freighter aircraft in the next 20 years to 2034, with an accompanying demand for new pilots and maintenance engineers.
The new planes are estimated to be valued at around $224bn (£155bn) and will include 1,230 new single aisle aircraft and 380 wide-body passenger and freighter aircraft.
By 2035, the number of Indian cities with over one million monthly air passengers will more than triple.
India’s preference for Airbus aircraft was demonstrated in 2015 with 250 new firm orders, lifting the likely future market share for Airbus in the country to 70%.
Today some 56% of India’s in service fleet are Airbus aircraft operated by most leading Indian carriers.
Air traffic growth is driven by such factors as urbanisation, the growth in wealth, as seen by the growing middle classes, tourism and trade.
In addition, India’s population is set to surpass China’s by 2025, and according to Oxford Economics, the number of Indian middle classes will top 600 million people, more than double that of the USA. By 2034, Indian passengers on average will each make four times as many flights as they do today.
As a result, traffic serving the Indian market is set to grow at 8.4% per year over the next 20 years, well above the world average 4.6%. Domestic Indian traffic will grow more quickly at 9.3% – making India the world’s leading emerging aviation market.
“Aviation in India has a bright future. As India’s industrial might grows along with it comes economic development, wealth generation and a rise in the number of regular and first time flyers. Airbus offers the most comprehensive aircraft product range from 100 to over 600 passengers to serve the Indian public and this growing demand,” said Dr Kiran Rao, Airbus EVP marketing and strategy.