Friday, August 04, 2006

Jetmakers cash in as middle class looks to the skies

India is one of the fastest-growing air travel markets in the world and aircraft manufacturers are taking advantage of the boom. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects annual passenger growth in India to be 8.4 per cent until at least 2009.
After the monopoly of state-run Indian Airlines ended a decade ago, Jet Airways and Air Sahara were launched. However, it was the founding of Air Deccan as a no-frills carrier in 2003 that really brought the market alive.
Last year, SpiceJet, Go Air and Kingfisher Airlines were all launched and another three or four carriers are thought to be preparing for launch in the next 18 months. This surge in airline growth has been good for the two major planemakers, Boeing and Airbus. Indian carriers have accounted for a large number of the biggest orders in recent years, including IndiGo’s surprising $5 billion (£2.6 billion) order for Airbus placed last year.
At the Farnborough Air Show last month, Go Air bought another ten Airbus A320s, worth $670 million.
04/08/06 David Robertson/Times Online, UK
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