India will require 1,750 new passenger and cargo aircraft over the next 20 years to meet an exponential rise in both passenger and freight traffic, according to Airbus’ latest India Market Forecast. To help meet this growth, India will need 1,320 new single-aisle aircraft and 430 widebody aircraft valued at $255 billion.

While much of the air traffic growth is expected to be driven by the fast expanding economy, rising wealth and urbanisation, ambitious government-backed regional connectivity programmes are also set to enhance demand for air travel. By 2036, Indians will each make four times as many flights as today. As a result, traffic serving the Indian market is forecast to grow 8.1 percent per year over the next 20 years, almost twice as fast as the world average of 4.4 percent.

India is one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world along with the US, the UK, Indonesia and its main rival – China. According to the 2016 IATA forecast, by 2025, India will replace the UK and become the third biggest aviation market in the world, while the “Make in India” program forecasts even more ambitious goals of becoming the third-biggest by 2020 and the biggest by 2030. But can they actually make it?

Domestic Indian traffic is expected to grow five-and-half times over the next 20 years (2017-2036) reaching the same level as U.S. domestic traffic today, making it one of the world’s fastest growing markets.

"Make in India is at the heart of our strategy. Airbus has the largest footprint in India of any international aircraft manufacturer, nationwide across all aircraft programmes. Our sourcing volume has grown 16 times over the past 10 years and it is currently at more than US$550 million annually,” said Srinivasan Dwarakanath, President – Airbus Commercial Aircraft in India.

Airbus currently has backlog orders of over 530 aircraft in India, which is set to become the world’s third-largest aviation market by 2019/2020.