Despite Covid-19 induced economic turbulence, aerospace major Boeing India plans to maintain its systems and components sourcing activity in India. The company sources components close to $1 billion a year from more than 200 suppliers in India.
"India will continue to be a key contributor to our global supply chain. Our sourcing from India stands at close to $1 billion a year from more than 200 suppliers who are manufacturing critical systems and components for some of Boeing's most advanced products," said Boeing India president Salil Gupte.
"Our commitment to India remains strong and is for the long term. We want to contribute to the growth of India's aerospace industry; that's why we're investing in commercial aviation and defence...." According to Gupte, the aerospace major supports the government's 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' initiatives by developing Indian MSMEs through skilling and upskilling initiatives.
"Our growing installed platform base with commercial and defence customers in India and our expanding supplier base makes it imperative for us to invest, develop and nurture talent," he said.
"Through our skilling initiatives, we are training hundreds of pilots, aircraft maintenance engineers, technicians, and frontline factory workers across India with our industry partners like Tata, Rossell Techsys, Jaivel and Lakshmi Machine Works. With these initiatives, among others, we are focused on creating a robust aerospace and defence ecosystem in India."
On the Covid-19's impact on commercial aviation, Gupte said the recovery will take longer because of the pandemic's depth and global nature. He described the impact as more severe than either the 9/11 terrorist attacks or the global financial crisis.
"We anticipate it will take several years for travel to return to 2019 levels and a few years beyond that to return to long-term trend growth. Yet the fundamentals that have driven air travel for the past five decades remain intact," Gupte said.
"We've always seen the industry innovate, respond, and grow over time because of its close connection to the global economy - and of course the desire of people everywhere to fly, when they have the chance." Besides, Gupte anticipates a 'three-speed recovery' process for the industry over the next several years.
"Recovery will begin with domestic air travel, followed by regional international travel, followed by long-haul travel," he said. "Our industry's recovery will be shaped by several factors, from public health to government policies to economic growth and consumer confidence."
Additionally, he pointed out that operators globally are assessing business needs, passenger demand and their fleets.
"Airlines have aggressively cut costs by parking thousands of airplanes. In addition, many are moving up retirements of older aircraft to simplify their fleet, improve operational efficiency and reduce maintenance costs," Gupte said.
"These aircraft retirements will pave the way for future deliveries as airlines seek greater versatility and efficiency in their operations. In many instances, operators are taking advantage of opportunities to grow cargo capabilities to meet demand, by utilizing dedicated cargo aircraft and at times re-purposing passenger aircraft to carry more goods."