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Boeing sees India as fastest- growing market

New Delhi

INDIA will be the world's fastest-growing aviation market over the next two decades, according to Boeing Co, which expects the South Asian nation to need 2,380 planes in that period at a value of US$330 billion.

The US manufacturer's forecast is slightly higher than the one it made in December 2018, when it said India would require 2,300 new aircraft worth US$320 billion over 20 years. At a briefing in New Delhi on Wednesday, Boeing's deputy vice-president of commercial marketing Darren Hulst said first deliveries of the 777X are planned in the next 18 months.

Mr Hulst also said Boeing is working closely with regulators to get the 737 Max back into operation in the US this quarter and then elsewhere depending on regulatory approvals. The previously best-selling jet has been grounded globally since mid-March following deadly crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia.

SpiceJet Ltd, which has as many as 205 737 Max jets on order, has said it may buy at least 100 Airbus planes worth more than US$10 billion as Boeing grapples with the fallout from its grounded plane. Boeing also lost a US$25 billion, 210-aircraft order from Jet Airways India Ltd earlier this year after the carrier stopped flying. Compounding matters, rival Airbus just announced a blockbuster order from Indian market leader IndiGo.

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The failure of Jet Airways dented air traffic growth in India as it took more than 100 aircraft out of action almost overnight, while a slowing economy has also pegged numbers back. Still, air-travel penetration remains low in the nation of 1.3 billion, encouraging airlines to expand rapidly. BLOOMBERG

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