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Wednesday, Jun 02, 2004

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`IA can save Rs 700 cr with Boeing aircraft'

Our Bureau

New Delhi , June 1

INTENSIFYING its sales pitch, the US aircraft manufacturing major, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, has again reiterated that Indian Airlines choosing its aircraft would lead to a saving of Rs 700 crore compared with prices offered by its competitors.

Addressing a press conference, the company's Senior Vice-President (Sales) and President, Aircraft Trading, Dr Dinesh A. Keskar, said it has already written to IA outlining the saving potential by choosing the Boeing aircraft.

The IA board had in March 2002 decided to acquire 43-Airbus aircraft at an estimated cost of more than Rs 10,000 crore.

"The airline board's decision to go in for the Airbus aircraft instead of the Boeing product is just the beginning of the process. Since the decision was made technology has progressed and we are in a position to offer the airline major savings if they decide to acquire Boeing aircraft," Dr Keskar said.

Boeing officials while admitting that the pricing saving offer at present was a "unilateral", one said that the company was willing to discuss it further.

Meanwhile, the US aircraft manufacturer outlined the advantages that the airlines of India could achieve if they were to acquire Boeing aircraft.

"Our newest airplanes for the medium, long and ultra-long haul markets are ideal for Indian carriers. If you look at the financial benefits by conducting objective calculations, all our airplanes including 777-200ER/LR, 737-800 with winglets and 7E7 have net present value that exceed those of our competitors," Dr Keskar said.

Company officials pointed out that the 17-year Net Present Value (NPV) of the Boeing 777-200 ER is $35.5 million greater than the Airbus A-340-300 while the Boeing 737-800 with winglet technology has an advantage over the Airbus A-320 by $12.3 million per aircraft.

Besides, officials claimed that the Boeing 777-200 ER also offered superior range and can carry more cargo.

The Air India board had in November last year decided to recommend to the Ministry of Civil Aviation its decision to acquire of 10 long-range Airbus A-340-300 and 18 short-range Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

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