India’s demand for planes outstrips available capacity

An Indigo A320 and Air India 777 parked at Sahar (Mumbai) International airport
Anand Balaji /

India’s demand for new planes to fulfil huge orders by the country’s biggest airlines is causing concern for the Minister of Civil Aviation.  

On Monday, March 20, 2023, Jyotiraditya Scindia told CAPA India Aviation Summit in New Delhi that aviation infrastructure and capabilities must be in place by 2047 to “support a $20 trillion economy.” 

The Minister also announced that he will allow airlines to lease more aircraft to help solve a lack of capacity. 

“Surprisingly and shockingly, the situation has turned the other way. Now we do not have enough planes to fly our passengers,” he told the gathered aviation cohort.   

According to Reuters changes have been made to the country’s airplane leasing program to increase the number of planes available, including wet leasing. 

Many airlines across the globe are placing large orders for new planes to expand their fleet as the aviation industry continues to rebound after the pandemic.  

Air India recently announced a mega order for almost 500 new aircraft, which will require 4,200 cabin crew and 900 pilots throughout the year.   

Air India’s order included a 250-strong order with Airbus and an even larger order with Boeing for 290 planes (if all options are used). 

The CEO of India-based Akasa Air, Vinay Dube, has also hinted that the airline will be making a sizeable order for new planes soon.  

“By the end of the year, we will place a large order for aircraft. I’m not going to disclose the number, but the order will be in three digits and it will be significant. In the coming year, Akasa is going to hire 300 pilots,” Dube explained in March 2023. 

Currently, the airline has 17 Boeing 737 MAX flying routes, with 72 in total set to arrive by March 2027. 

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