DALLAS – According to Boeing’s new Commercial Market Outlook for India, the passenger and freighter fleets in South Asia are expected to grow significantly over the next 20 years.
Boeing anticipates that South Asian airlines will purchase 2,210 new passenger aircraft during the next two decades, including 227 widebodies and 1,983 single-aisle aircraft. Additionally, it anticipates the delivery of 80 freighters but no regional aircraft.
During the Aero India 2023 airshow, Boeing confirmed that AI has selected 190 Boeing 737 MAXs, including 737-8 and 737-10, 20 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, and 10 Boeing 777-9s. The order includes options for 70 more Boeing jets. The Boeing report coincides with the Tata Group’s confirmation of a 250-aircraft order with Airbus during the airshow.
It is worth noting that the AI’s Airbus and Boeing orders are commitments and not firm orders.
In June 2022, Indian start-up Akasa Air (QP) received its first Boeing 737-8. 430 of the 2,210 new passenger planes will be replacements, and 1,780 will be added to accommodate growth. Additionally, 90% of the 1,400 passenger planes that Indian airlines have not yet ordered will be narrowbodies like the 737 Max.
“The Indian market is rebounding quickly, its domestic capacity has surpassed 2019 levels, and by the end of this decade, domestic traffic is anticipated to quadruple,” said Dave Schulte, managing director for Asia Pacific at Boeing Commercial Marketing.
“Over 80% of new airplane deliveries to this market will be for growth, while 20% of new airplanes will be for replacement of aging jets. Indian carriers will outpace global growth by nearly 7%. This pattern demonstrates India’s dedication to updating its fleet with more environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient next-generation aircraft.”
He notes in a presentation that India’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to increase fourfold by 2050 and that by 2031, India would have the third-highest GDP in the world.
Regarding the air transport industry, Boeing notes that just 360,000 passengers fly in India every day, compared to 23 million who use the rail system. According to the American airframer, the country’s aviation market will treble if just 1% of rail passengers switch to flying.
Schulte notes that India only has five specific freighters per trillion US dollars of GDP. This amounts to a tiny portion of the 51 freighters the USA has per trillion of GDP. By 2041, Boeing projects that India’s fleet of new and modified freighters will have increased from the current 15 to 80 aircraft.
The majority of these new freighters will be narrowbodies that have been converted for production or widebodies that have been adapted to accommodate international freighter operations.
Boeing also sees a number of difficulties, including high fuel prices, operational costs expressed in US dollars, and comparably cheap airfares.
The Boeing 737-10 offers low seat costs, making lower prices more viable, and new generation aircraft, in particular the 737 Max, can aid by cutting fuel burn at Indian carriers by 21%.
Featured image: Air India VT-ANP Boeing 787-8. Christian Winter/Airways