Boeing said on Friday Indian airlines will need more than 2,200 new planes over the next 20 years as the country’s economic growth and expanding middle class boost demand for air travel.
Over 2,000 of the new aircraft will be single-aisle and 240 wide-body, the aerospace major said in his South Asia and India Commercial Market Outlook at the Wings India 2022 civil aviation event here.
South Asia’s aviation sector is dominated by the Indian market, which accounts for around 90% of the region’s passenger traffic. Across South Asia, 2,400 new commercial aircraft worth nearly $375 billion will be needed during the 20-year forecast period, Boeing said.
Its forecast on the need for new planes comes after rival Airbus on Thursday estimated airlines in India would need 2,210 planes by 2040.
Dave Schulte, Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ managing director, regional marketing, said single-aisle aircraft like the 737 family will continue to support growth in domestic and regional markets, including flights from India to the Middle East and Asia – Pacific Rim.
Air traffic in South Asia is expected to grow at 6.9% annually through 2040, and projected traffic growth means the region’s fleet will almost quadruple over the same period. The outlook is designed to assume robust long-term demand for commercial aircraft and services post-COVID-19 pandemic, Boeing said in a press release.
“We forecast robust demand for air travel in South Asia as airlines ramp up their services and passengers feel more confident about travel…as well as air freight,” Mr. Schulte said. Factors that will fuel continued growth in the region will be the competitive domestic market and opportunities on international routes, both of which will be supported by government measures to reduce airfare costs and taxes, he said.
The Outlook estimates India’s air freight growth at an average of 6.3% annually, driven by the country’s manufacturing and e-commerce sectors, including the Make in India initiative. Boeing forecasts demand for more than 75 freighters, including 10 widebody and 737 converted Boeing Freighters. India’s civil aviation industry will need nearly 1,000 new pilots, technicians and cabin crew, the company said in the press release.
“India continues to emerge as one of the largest civil aviation markets in the world as it expands its capabilities and capacity in infrastructure and services,” said Salil Gupte, President of Boeing India, in the press release.