Dinesh Keskar, Senior Vice President, Sales, Asia Pacific and India, Boeing, claims that they are a dominant player in the wide-body aircraft market in India.
Boeing has provided the 777s and the 787s, which are operating with Air India right now, and Jet Airways has been operating 777s for over a decade, said Dinesh Keskar, Senior Vice President, Sales, Asia Pacific and India, Boeing. “Air India Express flies the smaller aircraft, which is the 737. SpiceJet has also been flying these aircraft and has closed a big order with us. Even Jet Airways has bought 75 B737-8 MAX aircraft on order and they operate over 89 737s currently,” he revealed.
Keskar recently closed one of the biggest deals in aviation history in India with SpiceJet. Speaking on the deal, he elaborated, “SpiceJet has added 100 new 737 MAX-8 airplanes to its existing order of 55. The new order of 100 airplanes is worth $11 billion, which will be delivered between 2018-2024,” he said. He revealed that the order included additional purchase rights of 50 more aircraft. “This means that the order of 155 aircraft is firm, committed through signed contract and payment. The airline might buy the additional 50 aircraft depending on how the business and market are going, and this way the airlines usually protect their future by having additional options,” explained Keskar. According to him, SpiceJet is securing its future till 2024, and Jet Airways will look at doing something similar. “We are expecting Jet Airways to order additional aircraft as well. Air India just took the delivery of its 23rd Dreamliner, and they have four more to go. They also have three 777s to be ordered, which have not yet been delivered. I am sure the national carrier would look at the MAX aircraft for future use,” said Keskar.
When asked about if Boeing would be playing a part in the Regional Connectivity Scheme launched by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, he said, “The wide-bodied aircraft are meant for long-haul sectors, and hence would not directly aid in the RCS scheme. However, the feed from smaller cities to big cities would further fly in these planes, and will have some implications in RCS.”