As the Indian aviation market is growing at over 20%, exceeding the global average of 7.3%, American aviation giant Boeing has forecast a demand for 2,100 new airplanes in India, valued at $290 billion, over the next 20 years.

Economic, demographic and regulatory trends in the Indian aviation market are believed to be contributors to the steady rise of the aviation sector.

Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president, Asia Pacific and India Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said, “The demand for commercial aerospace in India continues to grow at unprecedented rates, and the increasing number of passengers, combined with a strong exchange rate, low fuel prices and high load factors bode well for India’s aviation market, especially for low-cost carriers.”

The vast majority of the 2,100 new planes will be single aisles, with airlines estimated to require 1,780 of them (85%) due to the booming domestic aviation market, the government’s regional connectivity scheme (RCS) and growth of low cost carriers (LCC) in India. Domestic traffic contributes a major chunk of the total air traffic in India—which crossed 10 million passengers in May this year—and this leads to the demand for single aisle aircraft, mostly used by the LCCs.

According to Boeing, its 737 Max 10 is its fastest selling jetliner and one of the most successful and promises to be the most profitable single aisle airplane. It is also most sought after by the LCCs.

“The MAX 10 will be the most profitable single-aisle airplane, offering the lowest seat-mile cost ever. The 737 MAX 10 is capable of flying 200 nautical miles (370.4 km) farther than today’s next generation 737s. This extended range means that the 737 MAX 10 covers 99% of single aisle routes around the world. What’s more, it will be able to do so far more efficiently and economically than the heavier competing models, with its 5% lower trip cost and 5% lower seat-mile cost,” Boeing said.

However, Keskar also sounded an alarm bell on the infrastructure front in India and said that India needs to move fast on developing the required infrastructure to handle the growing air traffic in the country. The infrastructure crunch includes slot constraints at major airports like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. Air traffic congestion at major airports is also a point of concern, along with development of more airports to decongest the major ones.


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