Flying high: JBM Auto banks on air traffic surge to bolster demand for low-floor tarmac buses

The demand for low-floor tarmac buses should be seen in the context of growing air traffic in India as well as globally, offering tremendous opportunities for players like JBM to leverage the fast-growing demand.

By Shahkar Abidi calendar 05 Mar 2024 Views icon9338 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Flying high: JBM Auto banks on air traffic surge to bolster demand for low-floor tarmac buses

JBM Auto, a leading player in the Indian airport bus market, is banking on its low-floor tarmac bus design to capture a growing share of the global market, fuelled by surging air traffic.

Nishant Arya, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of JBM Auto, highlighted the benefits of low-floor buses at the recent Bharat Mobility Expo 2024. He claims these buses can accommodate more passengers simultaneously, addressing the challenge of overloaded tarmac buses at Indian airports. The tarmac buses are used for ferrying passengers between terminals to the airplanes and vice versa inside the airport premises.

"With low flooring, more people can sit and stand, even with overloading, thanks to our cutting-edge technologies," Arya said. "This efficient use of space allows us to deliver excellent results for airports." 

According to industry experts, low-floor settings are usually designed in the context of airport tarmac buses to accommodate more people in the vehicle due, to several reasons. First of all, the lower flooring allows for increased headroom and space utilisation within the bus, enabling the inclusion of more seating rows without compromising passenger comfort. Second, the lower seating arrangement allows for a more efficient use of floor space, ensuring that additional standing space can be added without overcrowding the bus. As a result, by effectively utilising the available vertical space, more passengers can be accommodated simultaneously, thereby enhancing efficiency and reducing congestion at the airports.

The demand boom

At present, both conventional fuel-run tarmac buses and electric versions are used, although there has been an increase in demand in the past few years. The demand for low-floor tarmac buses should be seen in the context of growing air traffic in India as well as globally, offering tremendous opportunities for players like JBM to leverage the fast growing demand.

According to a report from Business Research Insights, the global airport apron bus market was valued at $266 million in 2022. However, it is likely to triple to about $636.6 million by 2029, with a robust CAGR of 13% during the forecasted period.

The Indian civil aviation industry, which is the third-largest domestic aviation market in the world after the USA and China, currently boasts around 150 airports, which has almost doubled in the past ten years. The government data suggest that during the period between January and September 2023, domestic airlines carried 112.86 million passengers, a 29.10% increase from the 87.42 million passengers carried during the same period in 2022.

Likewise, on the international passenger front, as many as 45.99 million international passengers flew in the same period of 2022, marking a significant 39.61% increase compared to the 32.94 million passengers.

Leading e-buses segment with 35% market share

Talking about the company's future plans, Arya, highlighting JBM Auto's current orderbook of over 5000 electric buses with a 35% market share in the segment, emphasised that the focus remains on executing the manufacturing and deliveries of these products as per the timelines. Most of these buses are meant for supply to various state transport units, such as in Gujarat, Haryana, Delhi, Telangana, and Orissa, among others.

"We have just set up this plant with a capex of around Rs 500 crore. Our current focus is to build new products and cater to customers worldwide. But definitely, I think in the next few years and months, we will be coming up with new plans for new investments." Arya added, commenting on new and upcoming investments. He continued that the government is targeting to procure 800,000 electric buses for deployment across India, which will help boost the adoption of electric vehicles.

JBM Auto reported Rs 48.7 crore in net profit during Q3 FY24 as against Rs 34.3 crore during Q3 FY23. Its operating revenues, on the other hand, stood at Rs 1350 crore versus Rs 962.1 crore in Q3 FY23.

Tags: JBM Auto
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