Airplane manufacturer Boeing said on Thursday it expects Indian airlines to increase their capacity by at least 25% in the next year.
Demand is set to bounce back in the world’s fastest growing major economy, Boeing’s managing director for regional marketing Dave Schulte said.
Over the longer term, Boeing expects an annual capacity increase of 7% in India, outpacing other high growth economies, he added.
Indian skies are dominated by low-cost carriers (LCCs) such as IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoFirst and AirAsia India, the majority of which operate narrow-body Airbus planes.
Boeing dominates India’s wide-body market but fare wars and high costs have led to casualties among full-service carriers, including Kingfisher Airlines in 2012 and Jet Airways in 2019, making LCCs and Airbus even more dominant.
But India’s newest budget carrier Akasa Air, plus new owners Tata and Sons at Air India and the Jalan-Kalrock consortium at Jet Airways are giving the US planemaker hope of clawing back share in the Indian market as they eye more plane orders.
Akasa has 72 Boeing 737 MAX planes on order.
Boeing‘s biggest customer in India, SpiceJet, said on Wednesday it plans to induct more MAX planes in its fleet even as it struggles to make timely payments to vendors and lessors, prompting some of them to deregister and take back planes.
The loss-making airline has 155 MAX jets on order but has been slow in adding planes to its fleet even after the aircraft was cleared for flying by the country’s aviation regulator last year following a global ban sparked by two deadly crashes.
- Reuters, with additional editing from Alfie Habershon