Vinay Kumar

NEW DELHI: Egged on by growth in air traffic and a robust economy, India will need 911 new commercial airplanes worth more than $86 billion over the next 20 years, U.S. aircraft manufacturer Boeing predicted on Monday while upwardly revising its last year’s market outlook for India of 856 passenger jets at a value of $72 billion.

Giving details of its current market outlook for India at a press conference here, Dinesh Keskar, Senior Vice President (Sales), Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said the 2007 market outlook for India was based on growth in air traffic, ongoing efforts within airlines to reduce costs and drive efficiencies within their operations and overall economic growth.

Market outlook

The 2007 market outlook for India includes 55 regional jets; 674 single aisle; 173 twin aisle; and nine 747 and larger airplanes. Of these 154 new aircraft will be needed for replacement of ageing fleet.

“Commercial planes in the 90 to 400 seat categories will account for most of the growth in air travel over the next 20 years, and airlines will continue to accommodate that growth by adding frequencies and point to point non-stop flights,” Dr. Keskar said.

During this month alone, Boeing delivered eight aircraft worth $1.26 billion to Indian carriers and its order book from India was worth $21 billion for a total of 143 commercial airplanes to four Indian carriers and two VVIP Boeing Business Jets for the Air Force.

MRO facility

As part of Boeing’s commitment to the Indian aviation industry, the company is also setting up a facility for Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) at Nagpur in Maharashtra. “We have identified 75 acres of land as part of Special Economic Zone in Nagpur and hope to make it operational in phases,” he said.

Dr. Keskar said that apart from Air India there would be one more additional partner in the MRO facility for which Boeing would make an investment of about $100 million.