Monday, October 02, 2023

India has scope for 130-150 more wide-body aircraft: GE Aerospace

India's fast-growing civil aviation market has the scope to have 130-150 more wide-body planes as airlines expand their operations and there is also the potential for more such aircraft to be deployed in dense domestic routes, GE Aerospace South Asia CEO Vikram Rai said. GE Aerospace, a leading aircraft engine maker, sees a "great potential" in India, which is also the world's third largest aviation market and domestic airlines have nearly 1,500 aircraft on order.

While emphasising that "India is a focus market and a priority market for GE Aerospace", Rai said that in his view, domestic airlines would consider having more wide-body planes in their fleet and also deploy them in dense domestic routes.

"I see wide-body aircraft as a growth path for us and the airlines which is a win-win (scenario)," he told PTI in a recent interview.

Currently, India has around 700 commercial planes in operation and out of them, there are only about 50 wide-body aircraft. Air India has around 49 wide-body aircraft in its fleet while IndiGo has two wet-leased wide-body planes in operation.

In the current wide-body fleet, there would be replacements required. So, there is "scope to add 130- 150 wide-body planes in India," Rai said and added that rising international passengers from the country also augur well for the wide-body segment.

With rising air passenger traffic, the government is also working on ways to develop international aviation hubs in India so that domestic carriers can ferry passengers directly to various overseas destinations.

Currently, a majority of the people flying from India to international destinations travel by connecting flights operated by foreign carriers.

"We have to get to a point where we can get end-to-end carrying our passengers. That is the next step of growth we are talking about," Rai said.

02/10/2023 PTI/

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