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Boeing on expansion spree in India

Boeing has underscored the financial benefits and competitive edge that an Indian carrier will have due to ties with US firm, writes Deshbandhu Singh.

india Updated: Jan 27, 2006 22:00 IST

Following $11 billion historical deal with Air India for 68 aircraft, Boeing on Friday underscored its financial benefits and the competitive advantage that a carrier will have in India.

Riding on the boom in the Indian aviation sector, the Chicago-based commercial aviation firm has started extensive marketing with new and upcoming airliners in India.

Addressing the media persons here, Boeing's Senior Vice President (Sales) Dinesh Keskar said that to compete with airlines throughout the region and the world, Boeing jetliners are the right choice for Indian carriers for being the most cost-effective airplane.

Boeing Orders in India for 2005 ($15 billion)
Air India
 18 – 737-800s

27 – 787s

23 – 777-300ER


 
Jet Airways
 10 – 737-800s

10 – 777-300ER


 
Spicejet
 10 – 737-800s

 
Indian Air Force
 3 – 737BBJ

 

Boeing has based its marketing not only on technology but also on having more range, complementary capacity, lower operating costs, commonality with existing 747 network and infrastructure as also improved passengers' appeal.



Keskar said, "Boeing's strategy for delivering products and services that meet market needs - airplanes for the medium, long, and ultra-long-haul markets - are the right choice for the Indian carriers."

In 2005, the company had entered into $15 billion deal with Indian airliners viz, Air India, Jet, Spice Jet and the Indian Air Force for 101 aircraft, which is about 11 per cent of its net orders through out the world in terms of number. Through December 31, 2005 the worldwide Boeing orders stood at 1,002.

The company has already started talks with some of the Indian carriers which have expansion plans.

Air India has placed orders for eight 777-200 LRs, 15 777-300 ERs and 27 787-8 aircraft, while its subsidiary AI Express has ordered 18 new generation 737-800s. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in November this year.

Boeing has also committed to invest $185 million in facilities in India and source Rs 85 billion in products and services over a period of 10 years.

Keskar said that though they have Maharashtra and Hyderabad in mind, they have not yet zeroed in to a particular place. Hopefully, they will be able to finalise this by the end of April.

Giving the break up of the investment, Keskar said while the investment in MRO (maintenance, repairs and overhaul) would be around $100 million, the pilot training facility would cost $75 million and maintenance of engineering training facilities and infrastructure would cost $10 million.

Keskar said Boeing was giving several aircraft works to Indian companies, including drawing digitisation of 747s to HAL, flight control software to HCL and others to Wipro, TCS, Infosys among other software firms.

First Published: Jan 27, 2006 18:59 IST