Frequencies drive air travel in India: Boeing | india | Hindustan Times
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Frequencies drive air travel in India: Boeing

india Updated: Feb 09, 2007 02:30 IST
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US Aircraft manufacturer Boeing Aerospace estimates air travel to grow at 5.5 per cent globally in the next twenty years with the global economy expected to grow at 3.1 per cent, said Boeing executive Dinesh Keskar.

This would give rise to a demand for 27,210 aircraft in 20 years valued at $2.6 trillion.

Sixty per cent of these would be single-isle aircraft like 737 and A-320 and the rest being bigger aircraft like dreamliners, A-380, A-350, said Keskar, Boeing's vice-president sales, who was speaking at a seminar on aviation in Bangalore.

Keskar said that international air travel is being driven by higher frequencies, non-stop flights. Similarly, the global cargo market is expected to grow at 6 per cent for the next 20 years driven by domestic cargo movements in China and Asia-Pacific. There would be a demand for 2,983 cargo planes, but much of these (2200) would meet by converted passenger planes.

Indian carriers have placed orders worth $19.7 billion with Boeing Air India: 68 aircraft, Jet Airways: 30, SpiceJet: 20, Air Sahara: 10, and Indian Air Force which has placed an order for 3 Boeing 737 BBJ jets which will be used for VIPs travel. As the number of trips one takes increases, air travel will grow. Lot more people can fly with fares coming down, said Keskar unveiling Boeing's estimate.
The number of frequencies have gone up by 75 per cent, estimates Keskar. In 2002, India had 121 aircraft with 2 on order; in 2007, the country has 250 planes with 387 on order. The order backlog is larger than the number of planes in the country, said Air India CMD V Thulasidas while chairing a session.

Interestingly, Boeing's estimates are on the conservative side than rival Airbus or even the civil aviation minister Praful Patel, who said India would need 1500 planes in the next 10 years. Boeing, on the other hand, feels India would need only 856 aircraft in the next 20 years, which is valued at $72 billion. 676 of these would be single-isle aircraft, 120 twin-isle aircraft and 51 regional jets.
Boeing thinks the need for larger aircraft for India will be limited as passengers increasingly show preference for non-stop flights and higher frequencies to reach their destinations, said Keskar. Boeing's rival Airbus though still believes in the hub-and-spoke model and is betting on bigger planes that carry more people.

Email Ranju Sarkar: ranju .sarkar@hindustan.times.com

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