By Staff Correspondent
India’s aviation market is experiencing a rapid ascendancy, potentially positioning it as one of the largest in the global aviation industry, according to Salil Gupte, the President of Boeing India. As a testament to this burgeoning growth, Akasa Air, the latest entrant backed by (late) investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, is making waves in the sector.
Gupte emphasised Akasa Air’s exceptional performance, noting, “Akasa’s maiden acquisition of 72 aircrafts merely marked the inception. An additional order for four more aircrafts signifies their relentless momentum, establishing a precedent in the aviation startup landscape.”
Furthermore, India’s national carrier has recently inked agreements for 190 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, 20 advanced 787 Dreamliners, and 10 state-of-the-art 777Xes. Concurrently, Akasa Air, celebrating its first operational year, has conspicuously committed to a sizable order of 72 aircraft.
Such strides reflect India’s consistent advancement in aviation, with these impressive numbers representing merely a fragment of the projected 2,400 aircrafts anticipated over the forthcoming two decades.
Discussing the implications of this expansion, Gupte elaborated, “The forthcoming fleet of 2,400 aircrafts will necessitate an astounding 37,000 pilots. An equivalent cohort of proficient technicians will be imperative for aircraft maintenance. Our allegiance is towards cultivating a formidable pilot training infrastructure within India, eliminating the necessity for overseas training.”
In the backdrop of recent challenges, notably the grounding of Go First amidst a crisis, Gupte remained sanguine, asserting, “Although Go First’s scenario remains in flux, it’s pivotal to recognise its transient nature. Indian aviation’s long-term trajectory unequivocally leans towards expansion. Periodic diversions might occur, but the overarching trend is decidedly progressive.”
Reinforcing its commitment to India’s aviation sector, Boeing has unveiled a significant $100 million investment, targeting enhanced infrastructure and domestic pilot training initiatives.