The aviation sector is growing in India. Currently, in commercial aviation, the Asian country is the third largest market in the world. In general aviation (passenger and cargo) it is the fifth largest, but it is estimated that by 2026 it will become the third largest globally, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
This growth in the sector is a direct consequence of the country’s increasing population and economic growth. The middle class in India has reached 20% of the total population. This is a substantial growth compared to 2006, when it was only 2%. This economic growth translates into more people with the purchasing power to travel, which has led to a 6.1% annual growth in air traffic.
India is served by 91 international operators, using the huge country’s 464 airports and airstrips. These numbers are expected to increase significantly as demand in the sector grows.
India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation, in 2019, published a report entitled Vision 2040. The report forecasts that air passenger traffic in the subcontinent will increase six-fold to 1.1 billion by 2040 with 821 million domestic and 202 million international passengers.
Vision 2040 also estimates that, with the growth in passenger transport, a total of 2359 aircraft will be needed to handle all traffic by March 2040.
The country’s growth as a powerhouse in the airline industry has not gone unnoticed by companies such as Boeing, which, in a study, has estimated that demand over the next 20 years will reach 2,200 new aircraft, with a value of approximately $320 billion.
Airbus has also made its own projections, estimating that the annual growth rate will be more than 11% for the domestic market over the next 10 years and the combined rate of domestic and international routes will also be more than 10%.
India’s importance in the aviation sector is paramount and its future need for pilots must be kept in mind. In fact, Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiradtya Scinda this December held a meeting to discuss Pilot Training Organisations in the country, as with the growing prominence of the airline industry the demand for pilots is very high.
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