336 million domestic passengers.
85 million international passengers.
An investment of more than US$ 120 billion.
These are some of the staggering statistics which have been calculated by various studies organized by IATA (International Air Transport Association) and the others with respect to the growth of Indian aviation till 2020. By 2020, India is expected to be the 3rd largest aviation market in the world from its current standing as the 9th largest.
While a large percentage of the Indian population cannot afford even one meal a day, the number of potential air travelers is increasing by the day. From discounted tickets offered by Low Cost Carriers (LCCs) to increase in disposable incomes resulting in more foreign holidays, Indians are flying like never before.
Obviously with such an increase in the number of passengers, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has ensured that the infrastructure can’t afford to stay behind. With the privatization of 4 major airports, development of greenfield airports as well as the work on 35 non – metro airports, the government has realized that with respect to the Indian aviation, they need to do things in a big way since “Bigger is Better“. Moreover, along with announcing 49% FDI for foreign carriers in Indian ones, the government has also allowed Indian carriers to directly import the Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) thus helping offset rising fuel costs.
But what about the airlines flying into and out of India? Currently more than 85 foreign and 5 Indian carriers operate to and fro from our country. With the burgeoning flying public, this number is surely set to increase.
The airlines fly a varied mix of planes including the Airbus A320s, Boeing 737s, Boeing 777s, Embraers and Bombardier Q400 jets. But what if I tell you that there’s an aircraft model bigger, better, comfortable, spacious and more fuel efficient than all these?
The Airbus A380, the largest aircraft on earth can seat upto 853 people in a single economy class configuration or 525 in a three – class configuration. It’s a double-decker aircraft with usable space area of more than 5000 feet. That’s more than 40% of its nearest competitor. Now that’s really jumbo size, isn’t it?
While no Indian carrier has yet ordered the A380, a couple of foreign carriers have ordered them and many are in service as well.
When Lufthansa became the third airline to start A380 operations starting from its flight to Delhi, it was a momentous occasion recognizing the aviation market in the country. As the number of passengers grows, the airlines have realized that they need to keep pace to match up to the competition. And this is where the flying comfort, spaciousness and efficiency offered by the A380 flights comes to the fore.
From fantastic in-flight entertainment systems to flat beds; from spacious and lovely toilets to lounge facilities, the A380 encompasses all this and more as part of the ultimate luxury which it offers to the discerning traveler.
Germany expects the number of Indian tourists to rise more than 1.5 million by 2020 while German tourists are among the top 7 source countries for foreign tourists in India. Add to these numbers the numerous individuals who travel between both these countries on business and you can imagine the huge numbers you are looking at.
And therefore, with the Lufthansa’s A380 touchdown in India, it is set to be a huge player in the growth of the aviation industry in India.
This is my entry for the Lufthansa India blogging contest with Indiblogger. #LufthansaA380
Linking to NaBloPoMo (National Blog Post Month – December) – My post no 4 for this month.