India ascends

India ascends: A new aviation superpower emerges | K. Siddhartha

India ascends : India’s commercial aviation industry is expected to grow by more than 7.3 per cent annually until 2035, making it the fastest-growing market in the world

India ascends: A new aviation superpower emerges

India has become the most populous country in the world, surpassing China in 2023. The country’s economy is also growing, with a GDP growth of nearly 7 per cent last year. The aviation sector has emerged as a significant success story, propelling India towards becoming a global aviation superpower. India’s commercial aviation industry is expected to grow by more than 7.3 per cent annually until 2035, making it the fastest-growing market in the world. India’s Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) sector will also experience significant growth, with an annual expansion of more than 12.2 per cent expected through 2035.

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India’s rapid growth in the aviation industry has positioned it as a potential contender for the title of the new aviation superpower. With a burgeoning middle class and increasing disposable income, there has been a significant rise in domestic air travel within the country. Additionally, India’s strategic location as a hub between Europe and Asia makes it an attractive destination for international airlines, further boosting its aviation prowess.

Despite not being a manufacturer of civil aircraft, India stands as a vital player in the aviation industry. Prominent aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus hold the majority of patents, but their production relies on orders from customers. This growing reliance on India strengthens the country’s position in the global aviation market, allowing India to negotiate favourable terms and collaborations with these manufacturers.

India’s growing demand for civil aircraft reflects its expanding middle class, increasing disposable incomes, and rising appetite for air travel. As the country continues to develop, the need for efficient and reliable air transportation will likely grow even further. By establishing local production facilities, India aims to reduce import dependence and strengthen its aerospace industry.

India’s aviation sector has experienced significant growth, with the country collaborating with foreign partners to produce military equipment and enhance its self-reliance. The number of Indian-registered aircraft has risen from 300 to 700, and the country is expected to see over 200 new airports and 2,000 aeroplanes in the next decade. However, the percentage of India’s population taking to flying is expected to rise from 4 per cent to 10 per cent, allowing for more scope for scaling up.

The expansion of air travel will impact the economy, creating job opportunities and boosting tourism. The government has invested in infrastructure development and modernisation to accommodate the growing number of airports and ensure efficient air transportation services. The expansion will benefit cities, smaller towns, and rural areas, attracting foreign investment and establishing new industries.

The rapid growth in air transport infrastructure and the increasing number of aircraft highlight the need for India to strengthen its domestic manufacturing capabilities to meet the growing demand for military equipment. This will enhance India’s self-reliance in defence and contribute to its economic growth by reducing imports and promoting indigenous industries.

India’s role in the aviation industry is set to become even more pivotal with ambitious infrastructure projects, such as the development of new airports and the expansion of existing ones. The sector is poised to play a vital role in India’s economic development and global competitiveness.

The writer is an earth and space scientist, advisor to several governments, author of 50 books, and mentor to 1,600 civil servants. Views expressed in the above piece are personal and solely those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect Firstpost’s views.


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