'India needs 911 planes worth $86 bn by 2027'
Seattle-based Boeing on Monday said India would need 911 new commercial passenger aircraft worth $86 billion over the next 20 years given the country's robust economic growth and rising demand for air travel.
"The current market outlook (CMO) for India is for 55 regional jets, 674 single aisles, 173 twin aisles and nine 747s and larger airplanes," said Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president of sales for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
"The CMO projects that commercial airplanes in the 80-400 seat categories will account for most of the growth in air travel over the next 20 years," he told reporters here, giving the company's latest projections for India.
Last year, Boeing projected India's demand at 856 planes worth $72 billion.
"I don't see the need for large planes like the 747s or the Airbus A380 in this country as demand will come from the twin-aisle aircraft, used for point-to-point strategy," Keskar said.
Twin-aisle aircraft can carry around 250-320 passengers.
Keskar said Boeing had delivered 18 jetliners worth over $2.3 billion to Indian carriers between January and July this year, showing that domestic operations rather than international players were connecting the country to the world.
Keskar said the technologically advanced airplane would use 20 percent less fuel than today's airplanes of comparable size and provide customers with up to 45 percent more cargo revenue capacity.
It will also have innovations for passenger comfort including a new interior environment with higher humidity, wider seats and aisles, larger windows and other conveniences.
India's Spicejet is the first Indian airline to place an order for Boeing 737-900ER, which is the newest member of the next-generation 737-airplane family and "the world's best-selling jetliner", Keskar said.
On the setting up of the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility at Nagpur in partnership with Air India, he said: "The project has been slightly slowed down because of the merger of Air India and Indian."
Asked whether Boeing was looking at the freight market, Keskar said: "It is so much in infancy we need to study it more. There are some signs of its growth but it is not enough to make long term prediction as to how fast it would grow."