Economy

India likely to order 2100 jets

India likely to order 2100 jets

Boeing Co (BA.N) said on Monday it expects Indian airlines to order up to 2,100 new aircraft worth $290 billion over the next 20 years, calling it the highest-ever forecast for Asia's third-largest economy.

India is one of the world's fastest-growing aviation markets with domestic passenger traffic growing at more than 20 percent a year over the last few years.

According to the company's 2017 annual current market outlook (CMO) for India, factors such as high passenger traffic and growth of low-priced carriers will lead to the fulfilment for the demand forecast.

Passenger growth in Southeast Asia is expected to grow by 8% annually over the next 20 years, with the bulk of those gains driven by India.

In 2016, India revamped its rules that governed its aviation industry, through the liberalization of norms for its domestic carriers to make global flights and spreading out the air travel boom in the country to smaller cities through capping the air fares and by opening new airports.

The projection could be increased by Boeing in 2018 but that depends upon how the regional connectivity plan for India works out, said the Boeing executive.

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The U.S. planemaker dominates the wide-body aeroplane market in India, while competitor Airbus SE (AIR.PA) sells the bulk of small planes preferred by low-priced carriers (LCCs) such as InterGlobe Aviation Ltd's (INGL.NS) IndiGo.

As of now, low-priced carriers (LCC) account for the highest air traffic in India and are more than 60 percent of flights in the country are from them.

Boeing is planning to plug the gap in its aircraft portfolio using the 737 MAX 10 a single-aisle airliner that was launched at a Paris airshow during June, following the hugely successful sales for the A321neo of Airbus.

Single-aisle planes are expected to account for the vast majority of India's new orders.

Boeing has won 326 orders for the latest version of its 777 but apart from an order from Singapore Airlines earlier this year, demand for the world's largest twin-engined airplane has been relatively slow since it was launched with a barrage of orders mainly from Arabian Gulf carriers in 2013.

Boeing estimated last year that the country would need 6,810 airplanes, valued at $1 trillion, over the next 20 years.


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