Airbus sees a ready-made A330neo market in India, arguing that the aircraft can meet two objectives.
Speaking to reporters during a media briefing at Aero India in Bengaluru, Joost van der Heijden, Airbus's vice-president of marketing for Asia and North America, said that the aircraft was complementary on routes operated with A320-family narrowbodies as it allowed airlines to upgauge to a widebody.
"They are of different sizes and the airlines can use them for different applications," says van der Heijden. "The A321neo is a really efficient route-opener on international markets or markets that are too thin for widebodies… [They] can grow that route, allowing a widebody down the line to take over operations and continue that growth."
Secondly, Van der Heijden says that India has "very strong routes in terms of volume" – particularly at the tier-one cities – where the A330neo can operate "straight away with a lower seat-mile cost".
He adds: "It is as efficient on a very short sector of one to two hours [for] regional and domestic routes, up to long-haul routes to Europe and the US. That's important for carriers expanding into international markets."
When asked if Airbus was already pitching the A330neo to local carriers, van der Heijden did not state which airlines it was in discussions with but said that the type, along with the A321neo, would have a place in Indian fleets as a result of the market's varying requirements.
Cirium's Fleets Analyzer shows that India is primarily a single-aisle market. While the country's airlines do not have any A330neos or A220s on order, they have over 500 A320neo-family jets in the backlog – the majority of which will be delivered to market leader IndiGo.
Source: Cirium Dashboard