Indian airlines are projected to need 2,300 planes worth USD 320 billion in the next 20 years amid unprecedented domestic passenger growth, aircraft maker Boeing said Wednesday as it raised the forecast for the country. As much as 85 per cent of the planes would be narrow-body and the rest would be wide-body. The forecast is for the 2018-2037 period. According to Boeing, India would need 1,940 single-aisle planes worth USD 220 billion and 350 wide-body aircraft valued at USD 100 billion.
At the current exchange rate, USD 320 billion is over Rs 22 lakh crore. Around 10 regional jets worth less than USD 1 billion would be needed during the 2018-2037 period. “India continues to grow at a faster pace,” Dinesh Keskar, Senior Vice President (Asia Pacific & India Sales) at Boeing Commercial Airplanes said here.
Keskar also noted that the aviation market in India is “quite challenging” as most airlines are not making money even as there is strong passenger growth. He noted that exchange rate, fuel prices and fare yields are the challenges.
Boeing has raised its long-term forecast for commercial airplanes in India citing unprecedented domestic passenger traffic and rapidly expanding Low-Cost Carriers (LCCs).
In August last year, Boeing projected that India would need 2,100 commercial planes worth USD 290 billion. It noted that this year alone, more than 10 million passengers, on average, traveled within India each month.
“To meet this increased domestic air traffic growth, we see the vast majority of available airplane seats coming from LCCs,” Keskar said. The success of this market segment would mean more than 80 per cent of all new airplane deliveries in the country would be single-aisles, he added.
According to him, the superior economics and fuel efficiency of the new 737 MAX airplane would be the perfect choice for Indian carriers. India is the fastest growing domestic aviation market in the world and registered 50th straight month of double-digit growth in October.
“Boeing continues to develop new fuel-efficient airplanes and market leading services to address the needs of our customers in India,” Keskar said.