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Indian carriers take to cost cutting to fly through Covid pandemic

The 2020 Boeing Commercial Market Outlook reflects a combination of the unprecedented near-term industry disruption and the long-term resilience seen for decades.

Indian carriers take to cost cutting to fly through Covid pandemic
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Indian carriers take to cost cutting to fly through Covid pandemic

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The 2020 Boeing Commercial Market Outlook reflects a combination of the unprecedented near-term industry disruption and the long-term resilience seen for decades. It includes projected demand for 18,350 commercial airplanes in the next decade – 11 per cent lower than the comparable 2019 forecast – valued at about $2.9 trillion. According to an Accenture report, over 1,900 deliveries planned for 2020 and 2021 have either been pushed back or cancelled, and expect further reductions in the coming months.

In 2019 Boeing forecasted air carriers in India need 2,380 new commercial airplanes, valued at $330 billion, to handle the growing demand for air travel over the next 20 years. In 2021 the forecast is that there would be demand for more than 2,200 new commercial aircraft in the next 20 years in India due to "growing economy and expanding middle class". "With greater demand for domestic, regional and long-haul travel, it is anticipated that India's commercial fleet will grow four-fold by 2039," said David Schulte, Managing Director of Regional Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

According to Accenture, "We expect the overall 2020 commercial aerospace market to decline at 37 per cent, compared to 2019."

Boeing reported that it logged gross orders of 184 aircraft (including non-commercial) during 2020, the lowest since 1994. This included a flurry of orders for the 737 MAX secured in December, shortly after the FAA lifted the ban on its operation. About 75 of these orders were part of a lifeline deal from European budget carrier Ryanair.

On the passenger front, India's domestic air passenger market is expected to double its size by 2030 from the pre-pandemic level, aircraft manufacturer Boeing said on Wednesday.

"We saw a 55 per cent decrease in domestic passenger traffic through 2020. Our forecasts are showing that during the next 10 years, by 2030, Indian domestic market is expected to double the size of the 2019, Schulte said.

If we compare the Indian domestic traffic today to the 2020 normal levels, we are seeing today's traffic at about 76 per cent to those levels, he stated during the press briefing on commercial market outlook for India. Indian airline companies, just like their global peers, have been badly hit due to the pandemic-induced crisis. To survive these tough times, all Indian carriers took cost cutting measures like firings or pay cuts in 2020.

India's civil aviation industry will require nearly 90,000 new pilots, technicians and cabin crew personnel during the 20-year forecast period, with a growing number of women choosing to pursue aviation careers, he said. The country's air cargo growth is expected to average 6.3 per cent annually over the next 20 years, driven by India's manufacturing and e-commerce sectors, he noted.

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