Airbus aims to market 45 A380s in India over two decades

Airbus has said that that it aims to sell 45 of its A380 superjumbo aircraft in India over the next two decades. If successful, it would allow the European airframe manufacturer to capture a large chunk of the booming aviation market here, which grew by 40 per cent last year.

"We are targeting overall annual sales of over $1 billion from India starting 2008," president and chief executive Thomas Enders said at a press conference in Bangalore.

The company also plans to invest about $600 million in India, between now and 2020, for training software, instructors and simulators, Airbus country head Kiran Rao said.

Apart from confirming that the company was in talks to sell 10 to 12 A380s to state-owned Air India, he said that two other airlines in the country were also interested in the aircraft.

So far, Kingfisher is the only Indian airline to order A380s and delivery of the five on order is expected to commence in the period 2010-2011.

According to Airbus projections, India will require more than 1,000 new planes over the next two decades as rising income levels, along with lower airfares, fuel growth in the sector.

Airbus has also identified five companies in Bangalore as tier-1 suppliers for the A380 aircraft. Globally, it holds more than 200 major contracts with some 120 different suppliers and industrial partners for work on the A380.

The A380 aircraft, part of the Singapore Airlines fleet, took off last week on its first commercial flight from Singapore to Sidney with 455 passengers on board.

Airbus has 165 firm orders worldwide for the A380, of which 66 are from the Asia-Pacific markets.