AERO INDIA: Boeing sees positive signs from Indian carriers

Bangalore
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Recent profits from some Indian carriers have given Boeing optimism that it may soon see new orders.

The airframer's senior vice president for Asia Pacific and India sales, Dinesh Keskar, says that the grounding of Kingfisher Airlines in October last year was a correction that helped to alleviate overcapacity that has plagued the market for years.

"We had too many airplanes chasing too few passengers," he says.

Keskar adds that the industry has also been helped by a stabilising of the fuel price, albeit at historically high levels.

"These are all positive signs for the airlines in India," he says. "There is now a balance between supply and demand helping airlines to get reasonable yields to make profit."

In recent weeks Jet Airways announced an Indian rupees (Rs) 931 million ($17.6 million) net profit for the third quarter of 2012, while SpiceJet recorded a healthy Rs1.02 billion net profit over the same period.

Those encouraging figures have given Boeing greater expectations that the two carriers will look to place orders for the Boeing 737 Max series to eventually replace their fleets of 737NGs.

"We continuously tell them what new things are happening, what improvements are taking place and when the timing is right, they will order it," he says.

Boeing's current market outlook forecasts that out to 2031, carriers in India will take delivery of 1,201 new narrowbody aircraft, 234 widebody aircraft and 15 regional jets.