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India will need 1,000 planes in 20 years

The Indian aviation sector would bounce back in the years to come and India will need 1,000 aircraft worth $100 billion over the next two decades, Boeing India’s president, Dinesh Keskar says, implying that the industry downturn in which airlines are steeped in losses is not likely to curtail ambitions or growth.

india Updated: Jul 23, 2009 21:28 IST

The Indian aviation sector would bounce back in the years to come and India will need 1,000 aircraft worth $100 billion over the next two decades, Boeing India’s president, Dinesh Keskar says, implying that the industry downturn in which airlines are steeped in losses is not likely to curtail ambitions or growth.

“If you take a realistic and broad look at the India market, what resonates is that there is more positive than negative and the prospect for continued long-term growth remains high,” Keskar told a news conference on Wednesday.

Projecting annual economic growth of 6.5 percent for India over the next 20 years, Keskar said, “A phenomenal growth is likely in India as its economy is in a better shape than the rest of the world and the aviation industry will come out (of the slowdown) faster than other sectors.” However, Keskar said India’s largest privately owned carrier, Jet Airways, had deferred the delivery of seven Boeing aircraft because of declining passenger traffic. India has seen a 25 per decline in passenger traffic since last year.

The number of commercial passenger planes in India has grown from 122 in 2003 to 330 in 2009, with 350 currently on order. The slowdown has shrunk corporate traffic globally by 20 percent and economy travel by nine percent, but Keskar said, “Boeing expects a rebound in the Asia-Pacific region driven by India's future needs. Asia Pacific is going to lead the growth of aviation sector.”

“The Indian industry has grown by five percent in the last five years but over-capacity has been the bane of the Indian market,” Boeing India head said.

“Demand for smaller aircraft will grow and for large aircraft will shrink as they do not have a home in this market," Keskar said, while noting the success of smaller aircraft by budget carriers in India.” Boieng estimated that India would need at least 770 aircraft small aircraft in the next 20 years.