Paris: Eyeing big orders from Indian airlines, world's leading aircraft maker Airbus has said that India's aviation market will grow at over 10 per cent annually in next ten years, which would be double the average global growth rate.
Bullish on India as a marketplace as well as manufacturing hub, Airbus has already committed to source products worth $2 billion cumulatively over the next five years and it is now looking to provide customised maintenance and other services for all its airline customers in India closer to their base.
"India is very much on Airbus map for all the important work that we do globally and it is not just from the market perspective," Airbus India managing director Srinivasan Dwarkanath told PTI in an interview at the Paris International Air Show.
"In terms of market, India will be one of the top three aviation markets globally in the next 20 years. It is already one of the fastest growing markets," he said, adding that the country would need to double its aircraft fleet even if one per cent more of its population starts travelling by air.
"We are expecting an annual growth rate of over 11 per cent for the domestic market in India over the next ten years, while the combined growth rate for domestic and international routes would also be more than 10 per cent. That would be almost double the global growth rate," he said.
Mr Dwarkanath said Airbus wants to be "very close to its customers and we want to be in India".
"In our Global Market Forecast 2013, we had said that India would need 1,291 new passenger and freight aircraft by 2032.
"In just two years, more than one-third of this projected requirement has been met, which means more than 800 more would be needed by 2032. But it seems we would have to revise upward the forecast," he said.
"If we compare it with other countries, the aviation penetration is very low in India, which provides huge growth opportunities. Even if one per cent more people start travelling by air, India would need to double its aircraft fleet.
"The growth prospect is huge and therefore I feel we may have to revise our growth forecast in the future," he added.
Speaking about Airbus' presence in India, Mr Dwarknath, who is also the vice president for International Cooperation, South and South-East Asia, said that for customer service it has got its own maintenance training centre to look at the aircraft that has been sold to the customers in India.
"This centre initially catered to customers in India, and then we expanded it to neighbouring countries, now to even many far-off countries such as Mexico.
"We provide training to the engineers at this centre for customers across various countries through this centre," he said.
Mr Dwarkanath said, "We also have an Airbus preferred pilot training centre in cooperation with CAE and InterGlobe. We also want to set up our own training centre going ahead.
"We are now looking to provide tailored support package to the airlines. The airlines just need to clean the aircraft and then we do all necessary maintenance work, while airline can focus on its core activities."
"We have got Airworks as one of the partners. Vistara is the first airline to take this service. We are talking to other airlines for this unique service. We keep innovating," he added.
Mr Dwarkanath said that Airbus has also got many aerospace partnerships in the country, starting with a pact with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd 25 years ago.
"For our A320 aircraft, HAL is a big supplier. Then there is Dynamatic which is again a very important supplier and it has become a single source supplier for all the Flap Track Beams for our A320, as also for A330.
"There are many other important partners including Mahindras and Tata, which is more about defence sector.
Tatas are a partner in the very important Avero replacement as well as for other important opportunities.
There are approximately 40 suppliers that we have got in India and ten of them are direct suppliers.
"Our fourth focus area for India is R&D and innovation. It goes beyond engineering and we are also looking at emerging technologies and innovative solutions that we can give to the airlines. We have got our R&D and innovation units in three places across the world and India is one of them, while the person who heads this segment is based in Bangalore.
"This shows the importance of this focus area for our Indian operations. Then, we have got Bizlabs, one of which we are looking to set up in Bangalore later this year," he added.