Logistics

Boeing says India too can make large aircraft

Press Trust of India Paris | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on June 23, 2015

DINESH KESKAR

However, a made-in-India plane still a long way off as it requires huge inputs

It is very much possible for large airplanes to be manufactured in India, although it will take a long time because requirements are huge for capital, skills and infrastructure, top aircraft maker Boeing has said.

The $105-billion global giant also said the government’s ‘Make in India’ programme has become a major incentive for foreign investors and every company wanted to be associated with it because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal involvement in this initiative.

Stating that India is on the right track and it needs to gradually move up, senior Boeing executive Dinesh Keskar said the country and the companies there would need to consistently develop the skill-set and required to get to a stage of making large planes.

He was replying to a query on whether large airplanes like Boeing 787 can ever be made in India.

“That will be a long time. Even China, which is way ahead in manufacturing, is still not doing it. It takes three things – a huge amount of capital, a highly skilled labour force and top-end facilities,” Keskar told PTI in an interview here.

“Boeing bets it big every time it builds a new plane. You need billions of dollars,” said Keskar, Senior Vice-President for Asia Pacific and India Sales at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. He was here for the Paris International Air Show, which concluded this weekend.

Explaining further, the aircraft industry veteran said, “You need an amazing amount of skilled labour who knows how to build different systems and integrate it all together.

“Today, there are only two companies, Boeing and Airbus, who know how to do this. Others are making smaller planes. So, money, skills and facilities are the three things we need.”

The Boeing executive said India has the money and workforce, but no Indian firm has so far decided to do it.

“Even the smaller airplanes are not being made so far. I think, we should start with 50-seaters or 100-seaters and then look at the bigger ones. That is how it can work,” he said.

Airbus concurs

Rival Airbus India Managing Director Srinivasan Dwarkanath also said it was very much possible for India to manufacture large planes over the years.

Giving the example of the proposed replacement for the Indian Air Force’s Avro aircraft fleet, he said it would “totally” make in India. “I don’t see a reason why it (manufacturing of large aircraft) cannot happen in India,” said Dwarkanath, who was also here for the Air Show.

Published on June 23, 2015
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