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When India dreams of becoming a new worldwide aviation maintenance hub

Romain Guillot
12/12/2019 | 419 words
When India dreams of becoming a new worldwide aviation maintenance hub
The brand new facilities of GMR Aero Technic in Hyderabad. Picture GMR Aero Technic
The 3rd edition of the MRO South Asia Summit will be held in New Delhi on 6-7 February, an opportunity to review the growth prospects of the aviation maintenance sector in the country. The Journal de l'Aviation is a media partner of this summit organized by the STAT Trades Times.

Without doubt, India is one of the main driving forces behind the growth in global air traffic, with a strongly-developing domestic market (+18.9% en RPK in 2018) and an acceleration in demand which will exceed that of China and South East Asia over the next ten years.

According to IATA, India will be taking the third place on podium of the main countries in the world within five years, behind China and the United States and ahead of Indonesia.

Of course, the collapse of Jet Airways in April and the serious financial difficulties encountered by flag carrier Air India may throw a spanner in the works. But, for example, it is also in India that at the end of October the low-cost airline IndiGo signed one of the largest commercial aircraft orders in history with 300 new firm A320neo family aircraft, evidence that this type of operator is looking towards the future with a certain degree of confidence.

According to the latest estimates from Oliver Wyman (Marsh & McLennan), the airline fleet in the Asia-Pacific region will continue to grow by around 6.2% per year over 10 years to reach 15 383 aircraft (including regional turboprops), which will take MRO spending to over 42 billion dollars by 2029, which is over one third of the spending dedicated to fleet maintenance at global level (116 billion).

For India alone, this growth will be even higher, with annual fleet development of around 10% over 10 years, and MRO spending which should rise by an average of 7.1% until 2029. The fleet based in India will then reach some 1300 commercial aircraft, the vast majority of which will still be single-aisle airliners.

It is therefore logical that in time the Indian sub-continent will become a major market for the MRO companies who will be present in India, which is not hiding its ambition to become a new global MRO hub, particularly on airframes. But with 90% of maintenance work carried out abroad, the country will have to make the players on the market much more competitive, whether by developing their capacities or by reducing tax rates.

The Indian maintenance sector currently accounts for annual turnover of around 1.2 billion dollars, an amount which should double by 2025.
Romain Guillot
Chief editor
Cofounder of Journal de l'Aviation and Alertavia

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