India is one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world and, somewhat surprisingly, one of the least connected in flight. That will soon change, however, thanks to the recent publication of new government regulations. Indian aviation is about to get online in a big way.
Passenger growth and fleet counts on the sub-continent are expected to increase dramatically over the next 20 years. Boeing revised its commercial outlook for the region in December 2018, increasing its projection to 2,300 new deliveries over the next 20 years against an existing fleet just shy of 700.
IATA predicts passenger growth of nearly 7% annually over that same timeframe. And, as the middle-class balloons in India, these travelers, many of whom are mobile and digital natives, are expected to demand inflight connectivity as part of their journey.
Airlines and service providers face hurdles – economic and technical – in delivering this service. The infrastructure to support bandwidth suitable to hundreds of aircraft is not in place today. But providers are quickly ramping up such offerings now that the rules of operation are codified.
Will satellite or terrestrial services dominate the market? Will passengers or airlines drive adoption? And, in this rapidly growing but financially shaky market, who will foot the bill for these services?
Our forecast for connectivity in India is slightly less optimistic than the general market, owing mostly to the financial challenges Indian airlines currently face. We also question the willingness of consumers to pay for connectivity in sufficiently large numbers to offset the significant capital expense involved in establishing such services.
Still, there are a couple of relatively new and small players with different business models that could break into the Indian market and surprise the legacy providers. And, regardless of the technical challenges the market is expected to quickly materialize. Profits may prove elusive for airlines, but the service will happen.
Inflight connectivity in India is a land-rush situation and being among the first to market could prove critical to success. The connectivity platforms available today are functional and capable of delivering in the market. Securing airline customers early will likely prove critical to success.
This 20-page report delivers detailed analysis of the technologies, vendors and airlines in the Indian inflight connectivity market. We deliver predictions on who will be first to fly and which solutions are likely to be successful, both technically and financially.