India is expected to be amongst the top five nations in the world in the next 10 years in the aviation sector. On the sidelines of the International Civil Aviation Negotiation (ICAN) Conference, Ms Pratibha Patel, President of India highlighted that currently, India is the 9th largest civil aviation market in the world. "Recent estimates suggest that domestic air traffic will touch 160-180 million passengers a year, in the next 10 years and the international traffic will exceed 80 million passengers a year," added Ms Patil.
India is poised to emerge as the third largest aviation market in the world by the end of this decade, according to Dr Nasim Zaidi, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation. The sector with a growth of 18 per cent in domestic market is expected to generate approximately 2.6 million jobs in the next one decade, added Dr Zaidi.
In addition, the US-based electrical components company, Eaton Corporation foresees plenty of opportunities for itself in India's unfolding civil and military aerospace story. "India is expected to emerge as one of the largest aviation markets in the world," according to Joe-Tao Zhou, APAC President, Aerospace Group, Eaton Corporation.
Moreover, the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) in New Delhi, India, has been ranked the second-best airport in the world for 2011 by the Airports Council International. The airport scored this distinction in the category of airports with 25-40 million passengers per annum. The IGI airport handled a record number of 35 million passengers in 2011. The airport has an annual passenger capacity of over 60 million of which terminal 3 can alone handle 34 million passengers. In addition, the airport also handled over 600,000 tonnes of cargo and over 300,000 aircraft movements in 2011.
The rapidly expanding aviation sector in India handles 2.5 billion passengers across the world in a year; moves 45 million tonnes (MT) of cargo through 920 airlines, using 4,200 airports and deploys 27,000 aircraft. Today, 87 foreign airlines fly to and from India and five Indian carriers fly to and fro from 40 countries.
Passengers carried by domestic airlines during January 2012 was recorded at 5.33 million as against 4.94 million during the corresponding period of previous year thereby registering a growth of 8.06 per cent, according to data released by the Directorate General Civil Aviation (DGCA).
The air transport (including air freight) in India has attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) worth US$ 429.70 million from April 2000 to December 2011, as per data released by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
Private carriers are anticipated to post a combined profit of US$ 350 million – US$ 400 million for the financial year ending March 31, 2012, according to a report titled, '2011-12 Aviation Industry Outlook' by Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) India. The firm expects the domestic traffic to grow as high as 20 per cent. International passenger numbers, which grew by about 10 per cent last year, are expected to increase towards the upper end of a 10-12 per cent range over the next 12 months.