While the aviation sector slowed down in 2020 because of the pandemic, India became the biggest customer for Airbus. The credit will largely go to IndiGo which replaced multiple old A320/21neos with newer engines and didn’t default on the payments. India was only behind China in terms of recovering domestic travel in the country. Lakhs of passengers and flights took to the skies following the pandemic-protocol set by airlines and authorities. As per a report from TimesofIndia, Airbus has said that its biggest customer in 2020 was India — more details on the story ahead.
India Purchased 57 New Aircraft from Airbus in 2020
Indian airlines acquired 57 new aircraft from Airbus last year. The majority of aircraft, 44 to be precise, were ordered by IndiGo to replace its older planes. The remaining 13 aircraft went to Vistara, GoAir, and AirAsia India respectively.
Remi Maillard, president and MD (India and South Asia), Airbus, was all praise for the speedy recovery domestic Indian aviation sector displayed. He said that except for China, none of the other countries has been able to reach 60% normalcy (pre-COVID level) after closing operations down for consecutive months.
Maillard further suggested that India needs to correct a few things such as taxation system and infrastructure to allow growth for the airlines. He said that India has a very big domestic market which can change the future of international travel for the airlines. The only thing that needs to be taken care of is the taxation system and infrastructure.
Airbus delivered 566 aircraft in 2020, which is 34% lower from the numbers of 2019 (863). Out of this, 10% of the aircraft were delivered in the India market. This makes India one of the biggest customers for Airbus. Yet Maillard has confirmed that Airbus has no plans to make an assembly line in India.
Maillard also said that Airbus is in talks with multiple Indian airline startups for delivering the aircraft. It is worth noting that IndiGo is Airbus’s biggest customer for its A320 aircraft. It has placed orders for 730 A320 family aircraft so far.