Airbus eye Indian growth as fears of global slowdown
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[March 17, 2016]
By Sweta Singh
HYDERABAD, India (Reuters) - Boeing Co
and Airbus Group SE said on Thursday they expect Indian airlines to
order up to 1740 jets over the next 20 years, as aircraft manufacturers
eye one of the world's fastest-growing aviation markets to offset any
weaker sales elsewhere.
Boeing said falling fuel prices, increasing numbers of Indians
wealthy enough to travel by air and improved airport infrastructure
would boost orders.
The company expects airlines to buy 1740 planes worth $240 billion
by 2034, its senior vice president for Asia-Pacific and India sales,
Dinesh Keskar, said at an event at this week's Indian Aviation
airshow in the southern city of Hyderabad.
Airbus, at the same event, said it forecasts India will require more
than 1,600 passenger and freighter aircraft, three-quarters of them
narrow-body jets, over the next 20 years, offering $224 billion
worth of business.
"India's growth can help offset the slowdown in other parts of the
world," Boeing's Keskar told Reuters after the event.
Aircraft executives are looking to India to support sales after
global economic uncertainty overshadowed recent aviation shows in
Singapore and Dubai, raising worries about a slowdown in orders.
However, plane makers meeting in Singapore last month defied the
industry's growing number of skeptics, saying an unprecedented
expansion in the aerospace industry is into its eighth year,
supported recently by low oil prices.
Indian budget carrier SpiceJet Ltd is in talks with Airbus and
Boeing to buy about 100 planes, worth about $11 billion at list
prices, but has yet to finalize the purchase.
Boeing is keen to clinch the order to keep a foothold in the
low-cost Indian carrier market, while a win for Airbus would cement
its position as the country's dominant supplier of narrowbody
"Airbus is being very aggressive and I don't blame them. We have a
relationship with SpiceJet that dates back to 2002. We have worked
with them in good and bad times," said Boeing's Keskar.
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InterGlobe Aviation Ltd's IndiGo finalised the purchase of 250
A320neo aircraft in August, handing Airbus its largest-ever order by
number of planes. Other airlines are also looking to grow their
fleets to win more of what is expected to become the world's
third-largest aviation market by 2026.
The number of Indian passengers has jumped more than 20 percent in
the past year. India's biggest airlines including SpiceJet, Jet
Airways (India) Ltd IndiGo and GoAir, largely money-losing until
this year, are now profitable as the outlook for the market
"We are confident about the India forecast because of economic
growth, middle class growth and airlines are doing well. There is a
relatively low number of aircraft compared to other emerging
markets," Airbus' Head of Marketing in Asia Joost Van Der Heijden
told reporters in Hyderabad.
(Reporting by Sweta Singh; Writing by Tommy Wilkes; Editing by
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