The Boeing Company forecasts that domestic carriers will add up to 2,380 aircraft to their fleets over the next 20 years, the US planemaker said on Wednesday. The figure released by Boeing in its annual commercial market outlook (CMO) 2019 is 80 aircraft more than it predicted last year. According to the CMO, the factors such as high domestic passenger traffic growth, new long-haul opportunities and infrastructure development will drive this demand.
"To operate and maintain the expanding fleet, operators are expected to spend $440 billion on aviation services, including ground, station and cargo operations, along with maintenance and engineering," the India CMO said.
The single-aisle planes will comprise 87% of the future demand as airlines look to meet the requirements for domestic network connections and service to new airports.
Currently, European aircraft manufacturer Airbus SE has the dominant market share in the country. Low-cost carrier IndiGo, which operates an all-A320 family fleet, ordered 300 Airbus aircraft last month. Domestic passenger traffic grew 15-20% y-o-y for more than four years until December 2018 when it slipped to 3% y-o-y in CY19 due to grounding of Jet Airways.
Meanwhile, Boeing expects its grounded B737 Max aircraft to return to service by March next year. "The Boeing Company has tested over 800 test flights (on B737Max aircraft), and the company is working on improving the training process. The eventual return will depend on regulators around the world," said Darren Hulst, deputy vice-president of commercial marketing, Boeing.
In March, the directorate general of civil aviation had grounded 13 B737 Max aircraft belonging to Spicejet and Jet Airways following two fatal crashes involving the aircraft overseas.