India is a hugely growing aviation market but also underserved, especially on international routes, Air India chief Campbell Wilson said on Monday.
The Air India CEO and Managing Director was speaking at a session at the IATA World Air Transport Summit.
While India is a "hugely growing market", it is also an underserved market, as there are less than 50 wide-body aircraft (with domestic carriers), he said.
Earlier this year, Air India placed an order for 470 planes with Boeing and Airbus.
In the context of the aircraft order, Wilson said there is a significant imbalance that the airline is trying to address.
He was referring to the shortage of wide-body planes in India.
Wilson also said that a few years ago, 13 Boeing 787 planes were grounded as Air India did not have funds and there was also a requirement for "30,000 spare parts".
He was responding to a query related to supply-chain issues.
The Tata Group took over the loss-making Air India from the government in January last year.
Responding to a query, Wilson said there is not a "level-playing field" with respect to various aspects in the international aviation space.
While replying to a question in relation to supply-chain issues, he said it is "very frustrating" when you sit on assets, people and opportunities, when there is a delay in new aircraft deliveries.
His comments were in general and not specific to an order.
About being at the helm of Air India, Wilson said it is not the easiest place to be in but there is also no other better place to be in.
"It is the most interesting and exciting aviation job," he said, referring to his role at the carrier.
(The correspondent is in Istanbul on the invitation of IATA) DRR