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Boeing to Increase Sourcing of Aircraft Components from India

Bridging East and West

Boeing, the Arlington, Virginia (nee Chicago, nee Seattle) aerospace giant is making ready to increase its sourcing of aircraft components from India. The move leverages the south-Asian nation’s booming economy and skilled workforce to the benefit of the plane-maker’s production schedules and bottom-line.

Moreover, by deepening its ties to India, Boeing increases the likelihood of securing more and richer aircraft orders from Indian air-carriers struggling to meet the demands of a growing Indian middle-class increasingly able and inclined to travel by air.

Airbus and Embraer, too, have availed themselves of India’s growing industrial might, the European and Brazilian airframers having recently increased their respective Indian sourcing.

The extent to which Boeing increases its sourcing of aircraft components from India will be predicated largely upon global demand for its jets.

Boeing India boss Salil Gupte stated: “We have plans to increase overall sourcing from India. Aircraft manufacturing is very different from manufacturing smartphones, as a lot of value comes together in the final assembly in the latter. In civil aviation, the airplane ecosystem is very distributed regardless of the location of the final assembly. The value for India is to do more and more on various components of an airplane, and that is precisely where we are focusing.”

Speaking to the subject of Boeing’s ongoing evaluations of the business case for establishing aircraft assembly-lines in India, Mr. Gupte contrasted the disparate economies peculiar to the production of commercial and military aircraft, setting forth profitability in the former enterprise is predicated upon comparatively larger demand and production volumes. Ergo, the erection of Boeing assembly lines in India is contingent upon increased demand for commercial airplanes in the southern and eastern Asian regions.

Compelled by significant post-COVID increases in Indian domestic and international passenger volumes, India’s air-carriers, in 2023, have placed historic orders with Boeing and Airbus. Currently, Indian airlines account for north of one-thousand global commercial aircraft orders.

The upward trajectory of India’s aviation sector has engendered optimism amongst aircraft OEMs vis-à-vis business opportunities within the country. Confident continuing growth in India’s air-travel sector will occasion demand for upwards of thirty-thousand pilots in the next two decades, Boeing has announced it will invest $100-million in Indian aerospace infrastructure and state-of-the-art pilot training facilities through the early 2040s.

In February 2023, Indian flag-carrier Air India placed an order for two-hundred narrow and wide-body Boeing jets. The agreement comprised 190 737-MAX, twenty 787-Dreamliner, and ten 777X aircraft—and included options for an additional fifty 737-MAX single-aisle, and twenty 787-9 long-range airliners.

Indian low-cost airline IndiGo, too, could place a significant near-term order for widebody jets—though it remains to be seen whether the carrier’s business will go to Boeing or Airbus.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed interest in the establishment of an Indian domestic commercial aircraft design and manufacturing industry.



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