Airbus has been touring the A350 around India this week to gain business with Indian carriers. Historically, Boeing has dominated the long-haul market on the subcontinent.
The Airbus A350 has been on a demonstration tour of India since Monday, as Airbus tries to crack the widebody market in India. The manufacturer said yesterday that they were “in talks with all airlines” and had been in touch with the Tata group who own Vistara, AirAsia India, and the recently acquired Air India.
All Tata-owned airlines currently operate planes from the A320 family for short-haul flights, as does India’s largest carrier, IndiGo. Airbus has a strong position in the Indian narrowbody market, and in fact, IndiGo buys more A320neo aircraft than any other customer worldwide when it comes to long-haul flights.
Airbus is hoping that their A350 will be able to take a slice of the long-haul market from Boeing as the demand for international flights increases in India. India President Remi Maillard said:
“The A350 offers the greatest range capability combined with the lowest fuel burn, and is the strategic enabler for Indian airlines to regain market share in the lucrative long-haul segment and to profitably grow their operations.”
Maillard expects India to see massive growth in outbound passenger traffic, with India’s international air traffic expected to grow by 6.2% compared to the global average of 3.9%.
Airbus and Air India
Air India would be a potentially lucrative target for Airbus. The Tata group recently purchased the airline from the government in January. The Tatas are already Airbus’s defence products manufacturing partner in India and have relationships with the company through their other airlines. Tata Sons Chairman N. Chandrasekaran has said that he aims to transform Air India, making it a world-class airline. The new CEO of Air India is expected to be revealed soon.
Airbus will finish their tour of the A350 this weekend at the Wings India show in Hyderabad, which Air India will attend.
Do you think Airbus will be able to crack the Indian long-haul market? Let us know in the comments below!