Aerospace major Boeing’s ongoing investments as well as new industrial initiatives in India are aimed at making the country a key regional aviation hub, Salil Gupte, president, Boeing India, told FE.
“Our recent investments and strategic initiatives, including setting up of the ‘India Logistics Centre, Global Support Centre in India and BCF conversion line’, in just the last one month, showcase our deep commitment to India,” he said.
On the feasibility of setting up a production line in the country to fulfill the large aircraft orders Boeing has received from Indian airlines, Gupte said that establishing such facilities are dependent upon multitude of factors.
“Boeing has already established a significant presence in India through local partnerships and investments in research and development,” Gupte said. He added that these underscore the deep and long-lasting commitment towards expanding the footprint in the country.
Recently, Boeing won a contract to supply Air India with up to 290 aircraft, including 737 Max, 787 Dreamliner and 777X.
Gupte said that Boeing is by far the largest foreign original equipment manufacturer in terms of sourcing from India as it sources over a $1 billion worth of components and services from a network of more than 300 supplier partners in the country. The suppliers include several micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). “Over 25% of our suppliers from India are MSMEs,” Gupte said.
Last month, Boeing announced an agreement with GMR Aero Technic to establish a new Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) conversion line in Hyderabad. This will be first such facility in India that will have the capability to support future conversions of passenger aircarft into freighters.
According to Boeing, in the next 20 years, India is expected to receive over 90% of airplane deliveries in South Asia, with a demand for approximately 2,210 new airplanes. According to its market outlook, single-aisle jets will make up the majority of these deliveries, while widebody airplanes will account for 10%.