Boeing says Indian airfares unsustainably low; lifts country's 20-year order forecast despite market challenges

India’s passenger traffic has risen at around 20 percent in recent years, making it one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets.

Reuters December 19, 2018 15:51:03 IST
Boeing says Indian airfares unsustainably low; lifts country's 20-year order forecast despite market challenges

New Delhi: Airfares in the fast-growing Indian market are 10 to 15 percent lower than breakeven levels for airlines, a Boeing executive said, as the planemaker raised its long-term jet order forecast for the nation to a record despite market challenges.

Major Indian carriers Jet Airways, IndiGo and SpiceJet were all in the red in the September quarter as high oil prices, a weak rupee and intense price competition eroded their margins.

It is important for the sustainability of the sector that airlines show more discipline in pricing fares, Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president, Asia Pacific and India sales at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said on Wednesday.

Boeing says Indian airfares unsustainably low lifts countrys 20year order forecast despite market challenges

Representational image. Reuters

“Double-digit growth coupled with losses is what I am concerned about,” he said. “I will forego 2 to 3 percent growth for making money rather than filling up my airplane at rock-bottom prices and never making money.”

To date, however, the lack of profitability has not affected deliveries to Boeing clients, which include cash-strapped Jet Airways and budget carrier SpiceJet, Keskar said.

India’s passenger traffic has risen at around 20 percent in recent years, making it one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets. Boeing expects the country to become the third-largest commercial aviation market by the early 2020s.

Boeing sees Indian carriers ordering a record of up to 2,300 new planes worth $320 billion from global planemakers over the next 20 years to 2037, about 9.5 percent more than its previous prediction of 2,100 jets until 2036 made last year.

It said single-aisle planes, such as its 737 MAX, would account for 84 percent of global planemakers’ new jet deliveries to India over the period, higher than the world average.

The forecast comes amid signs that pressure on the Indian airline sector, dominated by low-cost carriers, is starting to ease as oil prices fall and the rupee firms.

Kotak Institutional Equities last week said in a note to clients that there were signs the worst was over, with data showing flat fares in the third quarter ending 31 December, versus a 9-10 percent drop in the previous two quarters.

Updated Date:

also read

Your holiday just got more expensive! Why flyers will have to shell out more for air tickets
Business

Your holiday just got more expensive! Why flyers will have to shell out more for air tickets

Passengers will have to shell out at least 15 per cent more for air fare after oil companies raised the price of Aviation Turbine Fuel by a record 16 per cent. ATF makes up half of the operational costs of airlines in India

Bird strikes, small runway and tall trees: The reasons why Patna airport is a disaster waiting to happen
India

Bird strikes, small runway and tall trees: The reasons why Patna airport is a disaster waiting to happen

The SpiceJet incident on Sunday when a Delhi-bound plane caught fire mid-air owing to a bird strike has once again put the focus on the Patna airport. Experts have repeatedly called the Jay Prakash Narayan International Airport dangerous owing to its short runway and an open abattoir

Delhi-bound IndiGo flight returns to Guwahati after bird hit; 3 incidents of emergency landing in a day reported
India

Delhi-bound IndiGo flight returns to Guwahati after bird hit; 3 incidents of emergency landing in a day reported

IndiGo Airbus A320neo (VT-ITB) returned to Guwahati airport, due to a suspected bird hit after takeoff. It was flying from Guwahati to Delhi