200 Indian Aircraft To Be Grounded: What's Next? This could cross 200 aircraft by the end of March 2024, CAPA India said in its report

By Entrepreneur Staff

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The Indian aviation industry may see 200 grounded aircraft by the end of this financial year, aviation consultancy firm CAPA India has said in its outlook. This could cross 200 aircraft by the end of March 2024. "This could cross 200 aircraft by the end of March 2024. This is also creating a shortage of parking bays, with aircraft having to be parked at hangars and MROs (maintenance, repair and overhaul) across the country. If the number of groundings increases, the parking challenges will become more acute," it added.

The grounding of aircraft will also impact air traffic. Despite the sudden exit of Go First in May this year, CAPA India has projected a robust growth of approximately 15 per cent in India's air traffic, reaching 155 million passengers during the fiscal year 2023-24. This projection is in line with the firm's March 2023 estimate. However, Capa India revised its domestic traffic forecast for FY2024 downwards slightly from 160 million to 155 millionairline passengers, due to the sudden grounding of GO FIRST, scaling down of SpiceJet Limited operations, greater focus by IndiGo (InterGlobe Aviation Ltd) on international routes, more aircraft on the ground than expected and unexpected weakness in demand during October and first half November.

Further, India's international air traffic is expected to end the year at around 70 million passengers. The advisory firm said India's operational fleet continues to be severely constrained. International traffic forecast for FY2024 has been revised downwards slightly from 72-75 million passengers to around 70 million due to higher than expected number of aircraft on the ground, many of which were to be deployed on international routes, supply chain issues experienced by IndiGo and Air India Limited's A350s will initially be used on domestic routes for crew familiarization purposes, so will only contribute to international capacity from 01 of FY2025 rather than the last quarter of this year.

Overall industry profitability is expected to be largely in line with CAPA's initial guidance of a loss of USD 1.648 billion, of which full-service carriers are expected to account for USD 1.4-1.5 billion and low-cost carriers for USD 200-300 million.

Today, India's commercial aviation market is expected to become the third-largest in the world by 2041, with a fleet size nearly quadrupling compared to 2019. "The country is projected to receive over 90 per cent of South Asia's airplane deliveries, requiring over 2,400 new aircraft, while its cargo market is set to expand significantly, with the fleet growing from 15 to 80 airplanes by 2042, driving a $135 billion demand for commercial services," Salil Gupte, Boeing India, head told Entrepreneur India in a previous interview.

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