American aircraft manufacturer, Boeing, says India is expected to buy 1,320 new passenger airpcraft valued at US$150 billion over the next 20 years as the economy aims for double-digit growth, stimulating strong demand for new and replacement aircraft, according to the Shipping Gazette.
"Robust growth with new economic prosperity among a massive Indian population, discretionary incomes, business progress and access to airports will increase airplane demand," said Boeing's India president Dinesh Keskar.
"In 2011, the economy continues to do well. Indian air carriers are becoming profitable and we expect the GDP to maintain its upward trend in the long-term. As a result, both the air travel and air cargo markets will grow."
Mr Keskar pointed out airline revenue and yields were up, but high inflation and volatile fuel prices will play a pivotal role in the health of the industry. Statistics show that in 2011 fiscal year 53.6 million passengers travelled on domestic flights while there were 13.1 million passengers who travelled overseas. This figure is expected to grow at 8.1 per cent annually over the long-term.
"The economic and air traffic growth will in turn stimulate demand for a variety of aircraft types," Mr Keskar said. "The need is great for new airplanes that can efficiently and profitably fly short- and long-haul routes. This demand is driven by growth in developing and emerging cities, demand from low-cost carriers and the need to replace an aging fleet."
The biggest demand will be for single-aisle aircraft, he said. In that category is the Next-Generation Boeing 737, which it said is the most widely flown jetliner in the world. To keep up with demand, the aircraft manufacturer recently announced it will boost production to a record 42 x B737s per month by the first half of 2014.
The company's aircraft currently dominate India's long-haul international fleet, with B777s and B747s in service, soon to be joined by the 787 Dreamliner. "The super-efficient 787 will offer significant economic improvement for airlines, increased comfort for passengers and better environmental performance," Mr Keskar said.
Globally, the plane maker forecasts a US$4 trillion market for new aircraft over the next 20 years with a significant increase in deliveries. The company sees a market for 33,500 new passenger planes and freighters between 2011 and 2030. Passenger traffic is expected to grow at 5.1 per cent annual rate over the long-term and the world fleet is expected to double by 2030.