Boeing Releases Forecast, Air Travel to Double in Next Decade in India

At a Commercial Market Outlook (CMO) held online on 7 April, Boeing forecasted strong aviation growth in India due to the country’s growing economy and an expanding middle class, fueling demand for more than 2,200 new jets valued at nearly $320 billion over the next 20 years. The CMO anticipates resilient long-term demand for commercial airplanes and services.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic sharply reduced Indian air travel last year, the country’s domestic passenger traffic is recovering more rapidly than in most other countries and regions, recently reaching 76 percent of pre-pandemic levels. While COVID-19 remains a near-term challenge, the country’s passenger traffic is forecast to outpace global growth, doubling from pre-pandemic levels by 2030, according to the CMO.

India’s passenger market is the world’s third largest. Its economy is predicted to grow at 5 percent annually through the forecast period, the highest of any emerging market.

“Many more Indians will travel by airplane for leisure and business as incomes rise tied to industrialization and an economic growth rate in South Asia that leads all emerging markets,” said managing director of Regional Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, David Schulte. “With greater demand for domestic, regional and long-haul travel, we anticipate India’s commercial fleet will grow four-fold by 2039,” he said.

Indian carriers have opportunities for growth in international markets, according to the Boeing forecast. Several airlines have started or plan to start non-stop routes between India and North America to serve a passenger preference for direct service flights, Schulte said.


“India’s burgeoning manufacturing and services business means the region is uniquely positioned to become a major aerospace hub,” said president of Boeing India, Salil Gupte. “We remain committed to partnering across India to develop the nation’s aerospace ecosystem, as continued investment in the civil aviation infrastructure and talent will enable sustained growth.”


Other insights from Boeing’s market forecast include the following:

In India, single-aisle airplanes such as the 737 family will continue to serve growth in domestic as well as regional markets, such as short-haul flights from India to the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions. Indian operators will need 1,960 new single-aisle airplanes over the next 20 years.

To meet long-term demand for long-haul connectivity, especially to North America and Europe, Boeing forecasts a 20-year market for 260 new wide body airplanes such as the 787 Dreamliner, an increasingly popular model in India.

India air cargo growth is expected to average 6.3% annually over the next 20 years, driven by India’s manufacturing and e-commerce sectors. The ‘Make in India’ initiative is expected to support the above-global average cargo traffic growth in the Indian domestic market.

India’s civil aviation industry will require nearly 90,000 new pilots, technicians and cabin crew personnel during the 20-year forecast period, with a growing number of women choosing to pursue aviation careers.

Globally, Boeing projects the need for 43,110 new commercial airplanes and demand for aftermarket services to be equivalent to $9 trillion over the next two decades.



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