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  • 21 February, 2023

  • 7 Min Read

Aviation Sector in India

Aviation Sector in India

  • To increase its flight capacity, Tata Group's Air India places the largest-ever order for Airbus and Boeing aircraft.

More On the News:

  • Recently, Air India inked letters of intent with Airbus and Boeing for 470 new aircraft in total, including 70 wide-body aircraft for long-distance travel.
  • Together with 210, Airbus A320 and A321neo and 190, Boeing 737 MAX single-aisle aircraft, the orders include 40 Airbus A350, 20 Boeing 787, and 10 Boeing 777-9 wide-body aircraft.
  • This deal has the potential to rank among the biggest by a single airline in terms of volume, easily topping $100 billion at list prices, including options.
  • The majority of the new aircraft will start arriving in mid-2025, with the first ones entering service in late 2023.
  • The agreement was revealed by French President Emmanuel Macron, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and US President Joe Biden as a sign of a stronger relationship between the nations.
  • The Vistara merger of Air India was previously agreed upon by Tata Group and Singapore Airlines, and Vistara is anticipated to be finished by March 2024.
  • This agreement will help the government achieve its objective of making India a $5 trillion economy, which is the country with the fastest-growing aviation industry in the world.

Significance of the deal:

  • The agreement shows India's ambitions to dominate the aviation industry, which is expected to need more than 2,000 aircraft over the next 15 years.
  • Air India will receive its first A350 aircraft by the end of 2023. This is the first aircraft order the airline has made in 17 years.
  • The deal is expected to make India the third-largest player in the aviation sector and create new opportunities in aerospace manufacturing under India’s ‘Make in India-Make for the World’ vision’.
  • The agreement between Air India and Airbus is a "landmark accord" and a "major milestone" for the strategic alliance between France and India.
  • The strength of the US-India economic partnership is demonstrated by the Air India-Boeing agreement for "about 200 American-made aircraft, which is estimated to support over one million American jobs across 44 states.

The aviation sector in India:

  • Even though it is losing money, the Indian aviation industry continues to draw investments from both the public and private sectors.
  • Currently, IndiGo holds a 58.8% market share for Indian Airlines, followed by Vistara (10.4%) and Air India (8.4%).
  • After China and the United States, India is the third-largest air passenger market in the world.
  • India's passenger traffic reached about 189 million in FY22 alone, with over 166 million of those being domestic passengers and 22 million being foreign passengers.
  • In 7–10 years, the Indian aviation industry is projected to handle 400 million passengers yearly, and by 2027, the government projects that there will be 40 crores of air travelers.
  • India's Civil Aviation is one of the aviation markets with the fastest growth rates in the world and will be a significant growth driver for India's economy to reach USD 5 trillion by 2024.
  • By 2038, it is anticipated that the country's fleet of airplanes will have increased by a factor of four, to over 2500.

Challenges in the aviation sector:

  • The Indian aviation market is extremely competitive, with both long-standing businesses and recent entrants competing for market share.
  • Price war: Since the government removed the ceiling and floor on airline fares, there may now be competition amongst the major carriers over prices.
  • Infrastructure limitations: Due to the country's small number of operating airports and the rapid increase in aviation traffic, India's infrastructure is currently strained.
  • Debt levels are high due to losses incurred by Indian airlines and losses to various Indian aviation enterprises as a result of the pandemic and increased operating costs.
  • Regulatory issues: The Indian aviation industry is subject to a number of laws and regulations, which frequently have an impact on the expansion and profitability of airlines.
  • High operating costs: Indian airlines have much higher fuel costs than their international counterparts, with aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices accounting for over 45% of their operating expenses.

Value of the aviation industry:

  • Economic development: The aviation industry supports a number of other businesses, including tourism, hospitality, and trade, and it considerably boosts the nation's GDP by generating employment opportunities and promoting economic growth.
  • Connectivity: It is essential for bridging India's wide geographic divide and facilitating the swift and efficient movement of people and things across the nation, which is essential for the growth of rural and distant areas.
  • Globalization: As the world becomes more interconnected, the aviation industry has emerged as a key facilitator of cross-border investment, trade, and cultural interaction.

Way Forward

  • The progress of the nation's economy, society, and security depends on the Indian aviation industry.
  • Promoting Sustainable Practices: In order to lessen the environmental impact of aviation, the Indian aviation industry must adopt sustainable practices, such as using alternative fuels and cutting carbon emissions.
  • Promoting Regional Connectivity: To improve connectivity to the nation's outlying regions, the Indian government must promote the construction of regional airports.

Source: The Indian Express

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