‘Bright fu­ture for Boe­ing in Asean re­gion’

New Straits Times - - Entertainment -

LANGKAWI: Boe­ing Co be­lieves that its busi­ness in South­east Asia will con­tinue to pros­per with the re­gion’s ex­pand­ing avi­a­tion market, de­spite to­day’s slow eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion.

Its se­nior vice-pres­i­dent of sales (Asia Pa­cific and In­dia) Dr Di­nesh A. Keskar said the de­mand for com­mer­cial air­planes was pro­jected to be worth a to­tal of US$565 bil­lion (RM2.5 tril­lion) in the next two decades.

“We feel that South­east Asia is one of the key mar­kets for Boe­ing, and we think that in the next 20 years, 3,860 air­planes will be needed and the value of that is US$565 bil­lion.

“Boe­ing watches closely sev­eral ar­eas, in­clud­ing fuel prices and cur­rency ex­change rates in the re­gion, among oth­ers, and I think as long as they stay within a cer­tain pa­ram­e­ter, we will con­tinue in this re­gion.

“(It’s) be­cause coun­tries like Malaysia, In­done­sia, Viet­nam, Thai­land and Myan­mar are go­ing to con­trib­ute to the market,” he told the New Straits Times at the Langkawi In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime and Aerospace 2017 Ex­hi­bi­tion (Lima), here yes­ter­day.

Keskar said the com­pany pro­vided so­lu­tions that suited the market and was timely un­der cur­rent eco­nomic con­di­tions with its lat­est range of fuel- ef­fi­cient air­craft — the 737MAX8 se­ries and 787 Dream­liner.

He said the 737 MAX-8 of­fered im­proved fuel ef­fi­ciency of up to 14 per cent, com­pared with its pre­vi­ous se­ries of 737s, while main­tain­ing very sim­i­lar spec­i­fi­ca­tions and sys­tems.

The fuel sav­ing ad­van­tage, he said, came mainly from the new Leap-1B en­gine, paired with the more aero­dy­nam­i­cally-clean fea­tures and shape of the 737 MAX8.

“A 14 per cent in­crease in fuel ef­fi­ciency in­volves a lot of sav­ings, be­cause fuel prices are go­ing up again.

“By mak­ing it more fuel ef­fi­cient, no mat­ter what the fuel price, the air­lines fly­ing 737 MAX-8 can make money and be com­pet­i­tive, and do not have to re­train their ex­ist­ing 737 pi­lots. This is what Boe­ing of­fers.”

Keskar said Boe­ing could of­fer fuel ef­fi­ciency in its 787 due to its fuse­lage, which was made of car­bon fi­bre, en­abling the air­plane to fly non-stop for 16.5 hours.

This, he added, al­lowed the air­lines to open up new routes and and save pas­sen­gers’ time.

The 787’s in­te­rior fea­tures of­fered a bet­ter fly­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Mean­while, Boe­ing and Malindo Air an­nounced that the lat­ter would be the world’s first air­line to fly the 737 MAX-8 when four of the air­craft, or­dered by Lion Air Group, joined its fleet this May.

The air­line is ex­pected to first use the 737 MAX-8 for its Sin­ga­poreKuala Lumpur route be­fore ex­pand­ing it to in­clude Bangkok’s Dong Muang Air­port and other lo­ca­tions in the re­gion.

Malindo Air chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Chan­dran Rama Muthy said the Lion Air Group had or­dered eight 737 MAX air­craft from Boe­ing, with the other four to be op­er­ated by In­done­sian Lion Air.

“Malindo Air is very proud to an­nounce that we will be the world’s first car­rier to fly pas­sen­gers on this state-ofthe-art air­craft.

“The 737 MAX was cho­sen as its fea­tures are al­most the same as the 737 that we have in our fleet to­day, the ex­cep­tion be­ing the new en­gines which of­fer bet­ter fuel sav­ings of up to 14 per cent.

“The same fea­tures and sys­tem make it eas­ier for us to main­tain and op­er­ate the new air­craft, as our pi­lots only need one ses­sion of sim­u­la­tor train­ing to fly the 737 MAX,” he said at Boe­ing’s booth at Lima 2017.

Present were Lion Air Group founder Rusdi Ki­rana and Keskar.

Boe­ing watches closely sev­eral ar­eas, in­clud­ing fuel prices and cur­rency ex­change rates in the re­gion, among oth­ers, and I think as long as they stay within a cer­tain pa­ram­e­ter, we will con­tinue in this re­gion. (It’s) be­cause coun­tries like Malaysia, In­done­sia,

Viet­nam, Thai­land and Myan­mar are go­ing to con­trib­ute to the market.

DR DI­NESH A. KESKAR Boe­ing Co se­nior vice-pres­i­dent of sales (Asia Pa­cific and In­dia)

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