Saturday, August 05, 2017

Sky is the limit as airline companies go on a buying spree

Kochi: The country’s skies are all set to welcome a host of newcomers, with seven companies, including Kochi-headquartered Air India Express (AIE), placing a cumulative order for 1,329 aircrafts. It is one of the largest-ever fleet expansion in India in recent history, according to the Ministry of Civil Aviation.The first lot of 122 aircrafts will take off this fiscal itself. A total of 139 aircrafts will be inducted in 2018-19, 123 in 2019-20 and the rest in subsequent years in a phased manner.

Among the airline companies, Indigo has placed order for the highest number of aircrafts, 609, followed by Spice Jet (255), GoAir (164), Air India including AIE and Alliance Air (162), Jet Airways (99), Tata SIA Airlines and Zexus Air Services (20 each). Furthermore, Air Asia (India) and Turbo Megha Airways have plans to add 19 and 14 aircrafts respectively to their fleet over the next three years.

Air India, which owns a fleet of 144 aircrafts, will induct 21 and seven aircraft into its fleet in current and next financial years respectively. Indigo, which has a fleet of 135, will add 42, 54 and 40 aircrafts in the next three years in that order.

The move is expected to create plenty of opportunities in the country’s aviation sector, which requires a large number of licensed work force including pilots, aircraft maintenance engineers and supporting crew. AIE CEO Shyam Sunder said the company had entrusted a consultancy firm with the task of preparing a 10-year vision document in order to expand its footprints beyond established markets. India is expected to be the third largest aviation market by 2020 and largest by 2030.
05/08/17 Dhinesh Kallungal/New Indian Express

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