New Delhi: Indian carriers could require 1,000 aircraft worth $100 billion over the next two decades, according to the Indian unit of the US aeronautical giant Boeing.
The bullish estimate on Wednesday from Boeing-India president Dinesh Keskar, came despite the recent decision by India’s largest privately owned carrier, Jet Airways, to defer delivery of seven Boeing aircraft because of declining passenger traffic.
Keskar noted that Air India, the ailing state-run carrier, had not deferred deliveries of any of 68 aircraft it had ordered.
“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 economic slowdown) faster than other sectors,” Keskar said.
Projecting annual economic growth of 6.5% percent in India over the next 20 years, Keskar said Boeing forecast the Indian market “will require 1,000 commercial jets valued at approximately $100 billion” over the period.
The economic slowdown has shrunk corporate traffic globally by 20% and economy travel by nine percent, but Keskar said Boeing expected a rebound in the Asia-Pacific region driven by India’s future needs.
The number of commercial passenger planes in India has grown from 122 in 2003 to 330 in 2009, with 350 currently on order.
“The Indian industry has grown by five percent in the last five years but over-capacity remains a problem,” the Boeing executive conceded.
“So larger aircraft will be required in smaller quantities because they don’t have a home in this market,” he said, while noting the success in recent years of smaller, budget airlines.