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India's air traffic to annually grow by nearly 7 per cent through 2040, and is bullish on the "massive potential" in the air cargo space, expects aircraft maker Boeing. The firm is also looking to increase the sourcing of raw materials from the country.

Strong recovery is gaining further momentum in Indian aviation and it is one of the fastest growing markets, Boeing Managing Director (Marketing) David Schulte on 1 September.

In a presentation made here on Wednesday, Boeing said that India's airlines will lead air traffic growth through 2040, growing at a rate of 6.9 per cent. According to the firm, the growth for the South East Asia market is pegged at 5.5 per cent, China (5.4 per cent), Africa (5.4 per cent) and Latin America (4.8 per cent).

Boeing also projected Indian airlines to see massive growth in terms of seats offered. It expects to play a large part in India's cargo market, citing "massive potential (in cargo)".

ALSO READ: Boeing says plans to build on existing investments in India

Currently, SpiceJet and Air India Express are using Boeing freighters.

Expecting at the possibility of increased raw material supplies from India, Boeing India President Salil Gupte said, "Raw materials are going to be one area of focus. We have talked to various ministries... we have been working to try to enhance raw material supplies from India so that is going to be critical for indigenisation, both in defence and civil aerospace manufacturing space."

Annually, Boeing makes around $1 billion worth of sourcing from India. Boeing has signed and announced contracts worth over $500 million of manufacturing alone with various Indian companies in past 18 months, Gupte said.

On a query related to the supply of titanium, Gupte said, "We know that the geopolitical situation has an impact on titanium. For our global sourcing, we know what we need at the moment and we have procured what we need at the moment in compliance with global trade regulations... we are always evaluating alternatives.... we are aware that India has capability there (with respect to titanium)."

On the major challenges, Gupte said that fuel prices, 70 per cent of an airline's operational costs being priced in foreign currency and the lowest average fares for similar distances and demands.

As per the aircraft maker, its 737-10 plane with 9 per cent lower seat costs will help enable a strong aviation market with sustainable low fares.

Around 137 Boeing planes were operating in India as of August 16. They include 68 Boeing 737 NG aircraft, 29 Boeing 787 planes and 16 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. There were also 18 Boeing 777 aircraft and 6 Boeing 757 planes. Five scheduled carriers have Boeing planes in their fleet -- Air India, Air India Express, Vistara, SpiceJet and Akasa Air.

With PTI inputs.

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