Strengthening its foothold in India, Boeing affirms dedication to the country's civil aviation sector
Boeing, the leading aerospace company, announced the opening of its new Boeing Commercial Airplanes office in Gurugram, Haryana. The inauguration of the office was marked by a meet and greet session, attended by the key Boeing team, including Salil Gupte, President of Boeing India; Ryan Weir, Vice President of Commercial Sales and Marketing for India, Boeing Commercial Airplanes; Kevin Yoo, Regional Director, NE Asia Commercial Airplanes; and David Schulte, Managing Director, Marketing.
"Boeing is proud to have been the largest foreign OEM in India's civil aviation sector for several decades” —Salil Gupte, President of Boeing India
During the event, Salil Gupte emphasisedon Boeing's commitment to the nation, stating, "Boeing is proud to have been the largest foreign OEM in India's civil aviation sector for several decades. We are excited about the future and believe in India's exceptional capabilities. With 5,000 direct employees and an additional 13,000 individuals working with our 300 supply chain partners, Boeing is a significant contributor to India's aerospace industry. Every year, we export $1 billion worth of products and services from India to the world."
"We are dedicated to being close to our customers. This new office in Gurugram positions us to serve the Indian market effectively and efficiently" —Ryan Weir, Vice President of Commercial Sales and Marketing for India, Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Boeing's next step in building the aerospace ecosystem in India is driven by a mission to serve 90% of the Indian population who have dreamt of flying. Salil Gupte added, "We want to make that dream a reality by ensuring that they can experience flying on a Boeing plane." Ryan Weir highlighted the significance of the new office as a support system for customers in India, stating, "Boeing has a strong global support center, and the new office in Gurugram will play a pivotal role in providing comprehensive assistance to our customers in India. Our dedicated team of engineers will ensure seamless support and exceptional service for our valued customers." India's aviation market presents tremendous sales potential, with a forecasted demand for approximately 2,200 planes over the next few years, according to Boeing's Commercial Market Outlook. Ryan Weir noted, "We are dedicated to being close to our customers, and we have successfully established a strong presence in neighboring countries. This new office in Gurugram positions us to serve the Indian market effectively and efficiently."
"Despite the challenges, we remain bullish about India's aviation market. It is the third-largest in the world, and the demand for planes is expected to continue growing over the next two decades.” —David Schulte, Managing Director, Marketing
David Schulte acknowledged the challenges faced by the aviation industry in India, including high fuel costs, complex exchange rates and low fares. However, he expressed optimism, stating, "Despite the challenges, we remain bullish about India's aviation market. It is the third-largest in the world, and the demand for planes is expected to continue growing over the next two decades”. This growth is expected to generate a significant requirement for skilled professionals, including 31,000 pilots and 26,000 mechanics and engineers.
Jayant Baranwal (Baranwal): How do you perceive the progress of Akasa and Air India, as they are back to the Tata brand?
Ryan Weir (Weir): We are closely monitoring the progress of both Akasa and Air India since their transition back to the Tata brand. Air India, being a strong full-carrier airline, is meeting our expectations. As for Akasa, it shows great promise as a low-cost carrier. We are actively engaged with both airlines to ensure the necessary infrastructure and timely delivery of planes to support their operations.
Baranwal: There was news about the 737 MAX with Spirit AeroSystems. Could you provide some insights?
Weir: Yes, there were supply chain challenges related to the 737 Max, but I want to assure everyone that it was not a safety issue. Safety remains our top priority, and we have been working closely with the FAA and our customers to address these supply-related concerns. We are actively progressing with the delivery process, although there might be some near-term impact on the delivery schedule. Rest assured, we are committed to resolving these issues efficiently.
Baranwal: The domestic air traffic in India has been experiencing significant growth, with a shift from train to air travel. Can you share more about this trend?
Weir: Absolutely. We have observed a notable shift from train to air travel, which has doubled air traffic with just a 1.5% shift. The expanding middle class in India is a key contributor to this growth. The country's annual domestic air traffic is increasing at an impressive rate of 8 percent annually, reflecting the rising demand for air travel and the accessibility it offers to more people.
Baranwal: When you mention that every 777X plane has a bit of India in it, can you elaborate on that?
Salil Gupte: When we say that every Boeing 777X has a bit of India, we are referring to the significant contributions made by Indian teams in manufacturing and engineering. We take immense pride in the work accomplished by our Indian teams, and their expertise and dedication play a crucial role in shaping the Boeing 777X. It's a testament to the talent and capabilities of the Indian aerospace industry. The first delivery of the Boeing 777X is planned for 2025, and we are excited to showcase the Indian touch in these advanced aircraft.