BENGALURU, India, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Boeing Co (BA.N) plans to invest about $24 million in setting up a logistics centre in India for civilian aircraft as it looks to speed up the availability of spare parts to domestic airlines, the president of its country unit told Reuters on Monday.
The centre will improve airplane availability and reduce flight cancellations or grounding due to maintenance issues because airlines will be able to get parts faster, Salil Gupte said.
The move comes at a time when Boeing is making deeper inroads into India’s single-aisle market, traditionally dominated by rival Airbus (AIR.PA), and as domestic airlines prepare to announce record plane orders.
India’s former state-run carrier Air India, now owned by Tata Group, is expected to announce a mega deal this week for nearly 500 jets, worth more than $100 billion at list prices, split between Boeing and Airbus, Reuters has reported. Boeing’s share includes 220 planes split as 190 737 MAX narrowbody jets, 20 787 widebodies, and 10 777Xs.
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While Gupte did not comment on any specific customer orders, he said India was the third-largest domestic aviation market in the world and would soon be number three internationally.
“India is one of the most important civil aviation markets in the world … and that means there’s going to be huge opportunity in both narrowbody and widebody aircraft,” he said.
Editing by Sudipto Ganguly
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