India needs 1,850 new planes to meet surging demand

Air India aircraft at Delhi Airport (credit: Nicolas Economou)
Air India aircraft at Delhi Airport (credit: Nicolas Economou)

The sharp growth of air passenger traffic in India will drive the need for airlines to purchase hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of new aircraft, a new report has revealed.

According to Boeing’s latest market forecast, Indian airlines will need to purchase 1,850 new commercial aircraft over the next 20 years, worth approximately US$265 billion.

Announced at a recent briefing in Mumbai, the new forecast includes 1,560 single-aisle jets worth US$180bn and 280 twin-aisle aircraft worth US$85bn.

“India continues to have a strong commercial aerospace market and the highest domestic traffic growth in the world,” said Dinesh Keskar, Boeing’s senior vice president of sales for Asia Pacific & India. “With the new aviation policies in place, we see even greater opportunities and remain confident in the market and the airlines in India.”

According to IATA, India was the world’s fastest-growing domestic aviation market in 2015, with a jump of 18.8% in terms of traffic in a market of 80 million domestic passengers.

This growth, including the rise of low-cost carriers such as IndiGo – India’s largest domestic airline by market share – is driving demand for new aircraft, especially for single-aisle jets like the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320. Both IndiGo and AirAsia, which operates an Indian subsidiary, currently have outstanding orders for more than 400 single-aisle aircraft.

“Boeing’s strong orders and deliveries for the… 737 and 737 MAX underscore how we are meeting our customers’ demands and expectations, offering them the most fuel-efficient, reliable and capable airplanes,” said Keskar. “We also continue to be the preferred choice for wide-body airplanes in India, with more than 85% of the market share.”

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