Sunday, June 10, 2018

As India’s air passenger traffic soars, airlines scramble to expand fleet

New Delhi: Private airline operators are scrambling to expand their fleets in the coming years to cash in on India’s growing aviation market. It is estimated that the number of aircraft will rise by about 150 per cent in next five to seven years.
According to sources in the Ministry of Civil Aviation, many private airlines are prepared for expansion and others such as Jet Airways, SpiceJet, IndiGo and AirAsia India plan to add new jets to their fleets. While India now boasts of about 600 aircraft, officials say the private operators will add about 900 aircraft in next five to seven years.
The tentative expansion plan of Go Airlines (GoAir) and Interglobe Aviation (Indigo) is to add 119 and 448 aircraft in next seven to eight years. The fleet strength stands at 32 and 155 aircraft, respectively.
Similarly, air operators such as SpiceJet, Jet Airways and Vistara plan to expand their business by adding more aircraft. SpiceJet planned to add 107 Boeing 737-800 and 50 Bombardiers to its existing fleet of 57 aircraft by 2018-23. Jet Airways will add 86 planes as against the existing strength of 111 aircraft.
Recently, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha  said the Indian aviation sector — currently growing at nearly 28 per cent — will see an investment of close to `1 lakh crore in next five years for capacity augmentation and development of greenfield airports. He pointed out that India's aviation market would surpass the US and China by crossing a billion passenger trips per year in next 10 to 15 years.
10/06/18 Kumar Vikram/New Indian Express