India Is The Third Largest Aviation Market Globally And Is Projected To Be The Largest By 2030.

Annual growth rate of 10.2% from 2009 to 2019

Investment of US$ 4.99 billion by 2025

1,100 airplanes to operate by 2027

2,380 airplanes to operate by 2038

Target of US$ 25 billion turnover

Target of US$ 5 billion from exports

Global drone market to reach US$ 43 billion in 2024

The Indian UAV market to grow to US$ 885.7 million by the end of 2021

India has 464 airports and airstrips, of which 125 are owned and managed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI). These airports channel 78% of domestic passenger traffic and 22% of international traffic.

Cochin International Airport is the world’s 1st fully solar-powered airport, for which it won the UN Champions of the Earth Award 2018 for Entrepreneurial Vision.

Indira Gandhi International Airport has consistently been ranked among the world’s best airports by the Airports Council International.

AAI plans to set up India’s first three water aerodromes in Andaman & Nicobar. 

The Government of India has launched the UDAN Scheme to enable the common citizens to travel by air. Besides materializing the idea of inclusive travel, UDAN could nudge a behavioural shift towards the adoption of air travel among the masses. Likewise, the Krishi Udan scheme has been introduced on both domestic and international routes to bolster the agricultural supply chain. India’s interest in expanding airline infrastructure partly stems from its ambition to eventuate economic integration of rural areas and tap into the immense potential of the hinterlands in its bid to evolve into a US$ 5 trillion economy. 

Air travel in India has evolved from an aspirational to a utility-based service. India’s thriving middle class with rising income levels exhibits an overwhelming preference for air travel over railways. Railway passenger growth dropped by an average of 0.26% annually for five years preceding 2016-17. Conversely, airline passenger growth registered a consistent annual increase of 10% during the same period. This shift in transport preference could provide access to markets erstwhile served by the railways: a market whose sheer size (8,439 million annual passengers) dwarfs the market size (316 million) of domestic airlines. This immense untapped market with a definite trajectory towards growth holds great promise for the aviation industry. 

FDI inflow in India’s aviation sector reached US$ 2.79 billion between April 2000 and June 2020. This figure will only increase, with permission being granted for 100% FDI in domestic scheduled passenger airlines. Some of the developments are captured below:

  • Zurich Airport has recently signed a concession agreement for the design, development and operation management of Jewar Airport near Delhi.
  • India is targeting a US$ 25 billion turnover from manufacturing aerospace and defence goods and services, which includes US$ 5 billion from exports. 
  • India intends to invest US$ 1.83 billion for infrastructure development of airports, aviation and navigation services by 2026.
  • In January 2020, IndiGo became the first Indian carrier to have an aircraft fleet of 250 planes and the first airline to operate 1,500 flights per day.
  • Chennai-based Nano Aviation India Ltd is India’s first Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul unit. It aims to provide cost-effective and sustainable maintenance solutions to the operators, ultimately benefiting the customers.

The global drone market is estimated to reach US$ 43 billion in 2024. Encompassing diverse verticals ranging from agriculture to aerospace and construction to conservation, the Indian UAV market is projected to grow to US$ 885.7 million by the end of 2021. India is among the first countries to have dedicated training and licensing programmes for drone pilots. In this regard, the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation has launched a drive to train drone pilots in the country.

A significant propeller of New India, the aviation sector with its enormous market potential, innovative outlook and ample scope for investment stands on solid ground to take off, yet again, from being the fastest-growing aviation market in the world to becoming the largest.