Boeing Raises Forecast for New Airplanes,
Globally and for India
LE BOURGET. India figures high once again in Boeing's forecast for commercial airplanes for the next 20 years. Although specific figures for India will be announced in New Delhi July-end, Dr Dinesh A Keskar, Senior Vice President Sales, Asia Pacific & India, told India Strategic in an interview that while the global forecast indicates a 3.6 percent increase over the 2016 forecast, the relative figure for India “will go up a little more than that,” the reason being that India is still in the early stages of civil aviation development and “three out of four passengers in India use Low Cost Carriers (LCCs)” whose strength is gradually growing.
In his first forecast in 2003, Mr Keskar recalled, he had announced a projection of 400. There were no low cost carriers then like the Spice Jet, Go Air etc. “The industry was different then, and now it has changed.” Even now though, less than five per cent of Indians fly and with the opening of new regional airports, the number of air passengers is bound to increase.
He was sure the figure for Indian air passengers would also cross 100 million in 2017. It was close to that in 2016, but did not exceed that.
Mr Keskar indicated that the forecast now should include more than 1,800 airplanes worth about $265 billion. He was happy, he said, that SpiceJet had ordered about 155 Boeing 737 Max aircraft, something which had been mentioned by way of thanks even by US President Donald Trump to Mr Narendra Modi during the Indian Prime Minister's official visit recently to Washington DC.
Mr Keskar, who is also the company's Vice President Sales for Asia Pacific, drew attention to the trend for smaller aircraft like the 737 variants due to the expansion of LCCs, and saying India was rightly poised for growth in this sector.
Mr Keskar said that Boeing's new Dreamliner 787-10, which has just been displayed here, should be a good buy in fuel economy and profit margins per seat for airlines in India and elsewhere. While Air India is already operating the Dreamliner for the last few years, Jet Airways has now ordered it and there are also discussions with Vistara.
Singapore Airlines, which partly owns Vistara, already flies the 787s, and has also ordered the new 787-10 variant. "So, it is logical for Vistara to come on board this aircraft,"
Notably, the overall global figure, announced by Boeing at Le Bourget, the venue of the Paris Air Show, projected a demand for 41,030 for
various types of new jet airplanes over the next 20 years valued at $6.1 trillion. The company released its annual Current Market Outlook (CMO), saying that it estimated an increase of 3.6 per cent compared to its estimate in 2016.
Boeing Vice President Marketing for Randy Tinseth observed that "Passenger traffic has been very strong so far this year, and we expect to see it grow 4.7 per cent each year over the next two decades," adding "the market is especially hungry for single-aisle airplanes as more people start traveling by air."
The single-aisle segment will see the most growth over the forecast, fueled by low- cost carriers and emerging markets. 29,530 new airplanes will be needed in this segment, an increase of almost 5 per cent over last year.
The forecast for the widebody segment includes 9,130 airplanes, with a large wave of potential replacement demand beginning early in the next decade. With more airlines shifting to small and medium/large widebody airplanes like the 787 and 777X, the primary demand for very large airplanes going forward will be in the cargo market. Boeing projects the need for 920 new production widebody freighters over the forecast period.
The Asia market, including China, will continue to lead the way in total airplane deliveries over the next two decades. Worldwide, 57 percent of the new deliveries will be for airline growth, while 43 percent will be for replacement of older airplanes with new, more fuel efficient jets.
Dr Dinesh A Keskar, Senior Vice President Sales, Asia Pacific & India