Growing India, China economies to prop intra-Asian aviation

11 July, 2007:

Aviation in Asia is poised to take a flight to better times riding piggy back on the fast-growing economies of China and India.

The booming economies of China and India will largely shape the future of aviation in Asia, and the world, as consumer demand continues to grow in these two countries. Aviation experts have forecast that intra-Asia air traffic will expand by 8.4 per cent annually through 2021 as a result of an increase
in average incomes in the region and more people opting for air travel. The intra-Asia market is expected to beat the Asia-North American market, which will grow at 7.5 percent, and travel between Asia and Europe, which will grow at 7 percent.

A forum which discussed in detail the intra-Asian air travel scenario has pointed out that China, with an annual growth rate of 14 percent from 2001 to 2005, saw its aviation industry grow by 35 percent during 2005 alone. The bare facts say that China’s domestic market has 1,068 air routes serving 140 cities, while its international coverage has 268 air routes to 91 cities in 42 countries.

To add to the party, construction of airports is also growing at a rapid pace and there will be 200 airports in China built by 2010 and 250 by 2020. However, the shortage of pilots in China is a matter of concern, says a report. China which has just 10,000 pilots and 998 aircraft, will add 2,000 new pilots over the next five years to replace retiring pilots as well as to fill positions in new aircraft.

The forum has also pointed out that demand for aircraft is set to increase by 3,110 planes in 2025, 81 percent of which will be used to meet rising demand in the number of passengers.

Meanwhile, India is finding it hard on the infrastructure front. Growing consumer demand for better infrastructure and more aircraft needs urgent attention. To add to the challenges, it was noted that India's airports do not meet international standards.






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