India will require 1,450 commercial aircraft worth $175 billion in the next 20 years, the U.S. plane maker said on Thursday.
Boeing’s prediction comes at a time air traffic in India is declining, hurt by a slowdown in the local economy. Most airline companies are facing problems due to high fuel prices and interest cost on the debt they took a few years ago to fund expansion.
Boeing continues to be the choice supplier of long-haul, twin-aisle airplanes, with the 777 and 787 Dreamliner playing key roles in the fleets of major airlines in India, the company said.
Dinesh Keskar, Boeing’s president for India and Asia, giving the 20-year forecast of airplane deliveries by the airplane type, said for India, new airplane deliveries (2012-2031) will be as follows: Single-aisle airline – 1,201 valued at $114 billion; Twin-aisle – 234 worth $61 billion; regional jets – 15 worth $0.5 billion.
Single-aisle airplanes such as the Next-Generation 737 and new 737 MAX continue to be in high demand among airlines in India, making up the bulk of new deliveries in the next 20 year period, according to media reports.
“While traffic is dropping due to reduced capacity [in India’s airline sector], yields are improving and fuel prices are stabilizing in the market,” Keskar said. “These are all positive signs for airlines in India,” he added.
“Because fuel prices are higher in India, our newest products such as the 737 MAX will help airlines in India save fuel and lower their costs. In addition the capabilities of the 737 MAX will allow airlines to fly passengers farther and in more comfort with the Boeing Sky Interior,” Keskar said.