Hyderabad: Based on strong growth projections for India’s aviation industry, US-based airplane-maker Boeing Co today said airlines will require 1,600 new aircraft over the next 20 years.

Airlines will have to invest around $205 bln to acquire new aircraft to meet demand, Dinesh A. Keskar, vice-president, sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, told reporters at India Aviation-2014 show here.

Earlier, Boeing had estimated Indian airlines would require 1,450 new aircraft worth $175 bln over the next 20 years. “These estimates are going by the current market situation,” Keskar said.

According to reports, India’s air passenger traffic grew 4.43% in 2013. The country’s scheduled airlines carried 61.42 mln passengers in 2013, compared with 58.81 mln in 2012, and 60.66 mln in 2011, according to data from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

Boeing said demand from Indian airlines would primarily be for its 737 and 737 MAX aircraft for domestic operations. Keskar said Boeing was aware of quality control issues for its 787 Dreamliner, and is working to resolve every issue on a priority basis.

AIRBUS FORECAST Separately, Airbus S.A.S today said Indian carriers will require 1,290 passenger aircraft over the next 20 years, and the total value of these aircraft would be around $190 bln.

“Of the requirement for 1,290 new aircraft, some 73% will be for growth, and 27% for replacement,” Airbus said. By 2032, Airbus forecasts 36% of India’s fleet will be wide-bodies, more than double of today’s level.

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