To cater to growing travel demands, India would need around 2,400 aircraft in the next 20 years and around 85-90 per cent of them would be narrow-body, a senior executive of global aerospace giant Boeing said on Wednesday.
Indian airlines currently have around 600 aircraft in their fleet.
While narrow-body planes are smaller and used for short-haul routes, wide-body aircraft are used to fly on medium and long-haul routes.
"Based on economic growth, evolving business models and the dynamics in the marketplace, India will need around 2,400 new aircraft deliveries in the next 20 years," said Darren Hulst, Deputy Vice President of Commercial Marketing, Boeing.
"The vast majority of these aircraft, as we no doubt expect, would be single-aisle fleets, 737-sized aircraft. It will make up for 85-90 per cent of the deliveries in the market place," Hulst explained, while unveiling the company's annual India Commercial Market Outlook here on Wednesday.
Boeing 737 aircraft family are all single-aisle narrow-body planes.
Hulst said around 13-15 per cent of the deliveries, that will happen in the next 20 years in India, would that be of wide-body aircraft.
Between 2013 and 2018, the number of weekly flights in India increased from 2,022 to 4,501, signifying a strong network growth. Also, the number of airports served in India have increased from 96 in 2013 to 111 in 2018, he said.
"In the last decade, single-aisle global network has increased by over 8,000 city pairs. In 2009, there were less than 12,000 non-stop routes served by single-aisle aircraft. Today, there are almost 20,000 unique city pairs that are served non-stop with single-aisle aircraft like the 737," Hulst said while explaining how single-aisle aircraft have been the aviation growth drivers.
According to a Boeing press release, low-cost carriers continue to lead in the Indian market having expanded six-fold in the last decade.
"India also added approximately 30 international city pairs in the past year, and the 10 longest haul routes are all flown by Boeing wide-bodied aircraft," it added.