Boeing is confident of maintaining its dominance in India's widebody market, through fleet renewals for airlines, and as more players seek to go international.
The manufacturer is anticipating some full-service carriers to soon undergo fleet replacements, and also seeing more domestic carriers looking to fly internationally, Boeing's senior vice-president of sales in Asia-Pacific and India Dinesh Keskar tells FlightGlobal.
He cites Jet Airways and Air India as two full-service carriers that could place new orders “within the next two to three years”, due to their aging Boeing widebody fleets.
Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that India has 58 Boeing widebodies in service, compared to just eight from Airbus.
It lists Jet with a fleet of 111 aircraft, of which 10 are 777-300ERs, aged between nine and 10 years old and taken from lessors. The carrier also has 10 787-9s on order.
Air India meanwhile operates 109 aircraft. Of these, 42 are widebodies: 23 787-8s, 12 777-300ERs, four 747-400s and three 777-200LRs. Its 777s are between seven and 10 years old, while the 747s are above 20 years. The carrier has a further three 777-300ERs and four 787-8s on order.
Keskar expects domestic operators to form the other part of Boeing's "solid base" of widebody customers.
“Once these airlines reach 20 aircraft, they will want to go overseas. With high risk brings high reward. We want to tell them that we have the right products [for going long-haul]. With the Gulf carriers and other Asian airlines like Cathay and Singapore Airlines attacking the long-haul market with new widebody jets, local airlines will want to go to where there is money to be made," he adds.
Vistara and SpiceJet have both announced intentions to fly internationally, with SpiceJet also having said that it is considering a long-haul arm. The low-cost carrier recently placed orders for 100 new 737 Max 8s.