Hyderabad, March 13 (IANS) Coronavirus scare has brought down the air traffic in Asia Pacific region by more than 50 per cent, a top Boeing official said on Friday.
According to Darren Hulst, Vice President and Global Head of Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, flight schedules in China were affected the most while the impact was minimal in India.
Talking to the media persons on the sidelines of Wings India 2020, Asia’s largest civil aviation event here, he said mainland China witnessed 80 per cent drop in number of flights post coronavirus outbreak.
The number of departures came down to about 3,000 flights a day at the peak of the virus from average 15,000 departures in a normal day, he pointed out.
He said excluding China, in the rest of the Asia-Pacific market, the number of flights came down by about 50 per cent.
Hulst said several airlines in Europe and North America reduced capacities after the spread of coronavirus. He believes this situation may continue for a ‘very short period of time’. He, however, said the numbers may not be to the level witnessed in China.
To a query, he said there were no deferments in deliveries of aircraft by airlines due to slump in the industry caused by the coronavirus scare.
Boeing forecasts India to be the third largest global market for commercial fleet. It believes aviation market in the country is resilient and will grow throughout 2020.
The aircraft maker forecasts that air carriers in India will need about 2,500 new commercial aircraft by 2040.
According to Hulst, Boeing’s sourcing from India stands at over $1 billion a year from over 200 suppliers, who are manufacturing high-end systems and components for some of Boeing’s most advanced products as part of its global supply chain. It plans to double the sourcing from India. He, however, did not specify the time-frame.
Salil Gupte, President, Boeing India, said Boeign was is showcasing innovative commercial platforms, and services, including the 787 Dreamliner and 777X, at Wings India 2020.
He pointed out that the company has 3,500 employees in India while more than 7,000 people are working with its over 200 supply chain partners.
The aircraft maker’s customers in India include Air India, SpiceJet, Vistara and cargo operator Blue Dart. It recently delivered the first Dreamliner 787-9 out of an order of six to Vistara.