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Aviation: India will need over 2,500 new aircraft deliveries by 2042

Aviation: India will need over 2,500 new aircraft deliveries by 2042


Virendra Pandit


New Delhi: India, currently the first largest aviation market in the world, will need nearly 2,500 new aircraft deliveries by 2042.

According to Boeing, India is the only big economy, a large market in Asia, which has evolved to pre-pandemic levels in terms of domestic and global demand. That reflects how important air travel is in this marketplace, also the strength of the Indian economy, and how connected a traveler is to continued growth, a Boeing official said.

India now leads Asia’s post-pandemic recovery in the aviation sector.

Backed by high traffic growth, India will need more than 2,500 new aircraft deliveries by 2042, Darren Hulst, Boeing Vice-President of Commercial Marketing, said in Hyderabad on Friday.

Addressing a press conference, he said to meet the rising passenger and cargo demand, South Asian carriers are projected to quadruple the size of their fleets over the next two decades and they will require more than 2,705 new airplanes to address growth and fleet replacement, according to the media reports.

“Over 92 percent of that (2,705) or over 2,500 (aircraft India will need) by 2042. It is based on the (forecast given in) middle of the last year,” he said.

“We project that carriers here (South Asia, including India) will need more than 2,700 aircraft deliveries by the year 2042,” Hulst said, adding a similar composition of the fleet with more than 2,300 single aisles, nearly 400 wide-body aircraft for the long haul, would be needed.

He said the India cargo fleet is expected to go up to 80 airplanes over the next 20 years as against the 15 freighter aircraft now.

Asked if there are any delays in aircraft deliveries following the recent incident of a Boeing aircraft’s door being blown off mid-air in the USA, Hulst said “We don’t anticipate any delays.” There would also be an additional layer of scrutiny.

He said the forecast focus of the company is not on numbers but on quality without compromising on schedule to get that.

Early this month, the door of Alaska Air Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft blew off midair. However, no one was injured in the mishap and the aircraft safely landed in Portland, US, after declaring an emergency.

Although no airlines in India currently operate Max 9, the industry regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), directed Indian carriers to carry out an inspection of emergency exits of Boeing 737 Max aircraft in their fleet.

About the Indian scene, he said the “Demographic tailwinds will propel air travel growth in India.”  From the current 15, India’s cargo planes will go up to 80 over the next 20 years.

“The Indian low-cost carriers continue to stimulate demand and connect emerging regions with low fares, holding nearly a 90 percent share of all domestic seats in the region. This reflects the rapid pace of the region’s recovery and economic activity, as traffic and capacity now exceed pre-pandemic levels,” he said.

Globally, the fleets are now essentially at pre-pandemic size and productivity and over 2,000 aircraft deliveries are pending globally, Hulst said.

According to Boeing’s projection, 42,592 new airplanes will be required globally over the next 20 years.



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