The rising potential of opportunities in the Indian skies has been clearly evident at the Farnborough International Airshow which saw $46.4 billion in deals announced on the first day and the $95.9 billion mark breached on the second day. Naresh Goyal-promoted Jet Airways on Tuesday signed a formal agreement with Boeing to acquire an additional 75 latest single-aisle 737 Max aircraft valued at $8.8 billion.
Speaking exclusively to The Sunday Guardian, Dinesh Keskar, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific and India Sales, for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said, “The fact that Jet Airways has ordered 75 additional 737 Max 8 at the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow confirms that Indian skies will continue to reflect double digit growth like in the past 4-5 years. This clearly reflects the fact that the Indian aviation sector will absorb a lot of single aisle and wide-bodied aircraft.” Apart from the deal with Jet Airways, Boeing seemed excited about making inroads into full service airline Vistara. “Coming from the Singapore Airlines stable, Vistara flies a lot of Airbus A-320 and Neos. That they have opted for Boeing 787 is good news for us,” Keskar added.
Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal said after the signing ceremony on the first day of the Farnborough show: “The order emphasises Jet Airways’ commitment to the growth and potential of the Indian aviation market.”
Boeing, which recently raised the 20-year global forecast for jetliners’ demand by 4.1% at the ongoing Farnborough Airshow, is hopeful that the global airplane fleet is anticipated to sustain the growing demand for commercial aviation services, leading to a total market opportunity of $15 trillion.
The entire projection is based on strong air-traffic trends in the emerging markets of China and India. Apart from rising passenger traffic, there is a rapidly growing need for new jets, as a big share of old airplanes are set to retire in the next couple of years. Boeing’s latest Commercial Market Outlook (CMO) projects that the world will need 42,730 new planes, worth $6.35 trillion, between 2018 and 2037. Of the total units, 44% of the demand will be for replacement of old aircraft, while the rest will support future growth.
Keskar said, “The company continues to identify cost-effective single-aisle jets as the major demand driver, accounting for 73.4% of the total projection. With expansion plans of most Indian airlines, we look for a rising demand of the Dreamliner which has emerged as a key aircraft for airlines planning international routes from India. People will be able to fly nonstop to anywhere in the world from India.”
The expected growth in the single-aisle airplane segment is largely owing to the global popularity of low-cost carrier models. With expanding air services into emerging Asian markets such as India, China and southeast Asia, major airlines in this region are compelled to accelerate the replacement of less-efficient airplanes.
With India emerging as a key market, Indian companies were wooed by over 7,411 participants, as India not only offers mere buying opportunities, but also has the potential to offer technical support for collaborations in the manufacturing sector. The rising aviation industry, especially the IT based companies which help in design and R&D, are getting recognised for high level of skills by both Boeing and Airbus.
British Prime Minister Theresa May who opened the airshow, just 37 weeks before the UK leaves the European Union, said at the opening ceremony: “This is an incredibly exciting time for aerospace. Not only is there huge growth potential, but many of the developments taking place have the potential to transform the way we fly.” The British aerospace industry, which employs thousands in the UK, is a backbone for the British economy.