At Wings India 2022, the aviation conclave organized by the Government of India in Hyderabad last week, Boeing shared projections for South Asia’s commercial aviation sector over the next twenty years, with the region leading the world in yearly passenger traffic growth. The company shared its annual South Asia and India Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), anticipating resilient long-term demand for commercial airplanes and services following the COVID-19 pandemic. Boeing projects demand for 2.400 new jets in South Asia by 2040.

Boeing predicted a growth rate of 6.9% for South Asian airlines through 2040, which was similar to what Airbus predicted for the Indian market through the same period in its projections discussed a day prior.  However, their outlook on the breakup between widebody and single-aisle aircraft differed significantly. 

South Asia’s air travel sector is dominated by the Indian market, which accounts for about 90% of the region’s passenger traffic. India’s continued economic growth and its expanding middle class will fuel demand across South Asia for 2.400 new commercial jets valued at nearly $375 billion during the 20-year forecast period, according to Boeing.

Single-aisle airplanes will increase their share of total airplane demand to serve India’s vast domestic market and competitive regional market, which includes established carriers as well as start-up airlines. To improve and expand long-haul connectivity – especially routes from India to North America and Europe – carriers will continue to invest in versatile, fuel-efficient widebody airplanes. The forecast for the South Asian market includes 2.110 Single Aisle Jets and 290 Widebody jets. 

Boeing had earlier predicted 43.610 new airplane deliveries globally in the period 2021-2040, out of which 75% (32.660) would be single-aisle aircraft and 18% (7.670) would be widebodies in their global Commercial Market Outlook

“We project robust demand for air travel in South Asia with carriers increasing services, and passengers feeling confident about travel to see family and friends and do business, as well as from air cargo,” said Dave Schulte, managing director, regional marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Key elements that will promote continued growth in the region will be the competitive domestic market and opportunities in international routes, both backed by government policies to reduce airline costs and taxes,” added Schulte.

Salil Gupte, president of Boeing India, said: “India continues to develop as one of the world’s largest civil aviation markets as it ramps up its capabilities and capacity in infrastructure and services. At Boeing, we are committed to supporting this growth through our Make in India supplier partnerships, next-generation products and solutions, technologies and services, to advance the future of commercial aviation.”

Other insights from Boeing’s CMO forecast through 2040 include:

  • Indian operators will need just over 2.000 new single-aisle airplanes to meet demand during the forecast period.
  • Single-aisle airplanes such as the 737 family will continue to serve growth in domestic and regional markets, including flights from India to the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions.
  • Indian carriers will need 240 new widebody airplanes such as the 787 Dreamliner to meet long-haul demand.
  • India’s air cargo growth is expected to average 6.3% annually, driven by the country’s manufacturing and e-commerce sectors, including its Make in India initiative. Boeing forecasts demand for more than 75 freighters, including 10 widebodies and 737 Boeing Converted Freighters.
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Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe.

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