787s and 777s have great potential in India: Boeing

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Boeing does not expect a widebody order from India in 2013, but stands firm that its 777 and 787 aircraft have great potential in the country.

The airframer has 37 widebody aircraft on order from India - 24 787s and three 777s from Air India and 10 787s from Jet Airways.

"This is a fair amount of orders and some serious money," says Dinesh Keskar, Boeing Commercial Airplanes' senior vice-president for Asia-Pacific and India sales. "It's still a long backlog and I don't see any widebody order for next year for India."

He adds that although there has been much turmoil in the Indian market, strong GDP growth and changes in policies such as allowing foreign airlines to invest in local carriers will give the country's aviation industry a boost and allow airlines to buy more jets.

"There will be more 787 orders for India, there's no question about that. India has barely scratched the surface here," says Keskar.

Air India is the only 787 operator in India with three of the aircraft in its fleet.

Keskar adds that there will be "no place" for jumbo aircraft such as the Airbus A380 and the 747-8I in India as passengers prefer to fly from point to point, and airlines are moving away from the hub-and-spoke model.

"The point-to-point model is more successful, that's why smaller aircraft like the 777 and 787 makes more sense in such a market," says Keskar.

The airframer's competitor, Airbus, has 34 widebody aircraft from India in its backlog. However, a large part of its orders - 15 A330s, five A350s and five A380s - are from the grounded Kingfisher Airlines. It also has nine A330s on order from Jet Airways.