NEW DELHI: Boeing Co., one of the largest employers in St. Louis, raised its forecast for the Indian plane market on Tuesday, saying the South Asian country would need 1,450 new aircraft worth $175 billion by 2031. Last year, the U.S. planemaker had forecast demand at 1,320 planes up to 2030, worth $150 billion.
“India will have the highest passenger traffic growth in the world, higher than even China’s in the next 20 years,” Dinesh Keskar, Boeing’s senior vice president for Asia Pacific and India, told reporters. Boeing officials forecast passenger traffic to grow by 8.4 percent annually in South Asia, which includes India, and by 7 percent annually in China up to 2031.
Boeing and its European rival, Airbus, are locked in a global contest for passenger plane market share and in some cases have resorted to halving prices to bolster orders of newly revamped models of their best-selling narrowbody jets.
Boeing has also lost several deals in Asia to Airbus recently, including a $7 billion order from Philippine Airlines Inc, despite massive U.S. lobbying on behalf of Boeing.