HYDERABAD: One in every two flights was cancelled in the Asia Pacific region following the outbreak of coronavirus, according to aircraft maker Boeing.
Much of the brunt was borne by Mainland China that saw as much as 80 per cent reduction during the peak virus period.
"In the mainland China market in normal operations we see about 15,000 departures a day and at the peak of the virus, they were operating around 3,000 flights a day, about 80 per cent decline," said Darren Hulst, Vice president and global head, marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Speaking to media on the sidelines of 'Wings India 2020,' here Friday, he said India was an outlier and he didn't see much impact.
"If you exclude China, in the rest of the Asia Pacific market, probably about 5,000 flights a day and at one point in time we saw about 2,500 or something like that. These are rough numbers," he added.
Similarly, in other areas like Europe and North America where the presence of the virus is seen, several airlines have started taking measures in terms of passenger admissions. "I think we are going to see a similar reduction in capacities by airlines for a very short period of time, not necessarily to the magnitude of that China number," he explained.
The upshot is, aircraft deliveries aren't affected so far. "Aircraft deliveries are case by case and on a one-on-one basis. We have not done any deferring yet," he said adding, airlines industry is resilient and its quick recovery was evident in the post-SARS period.
Meanwhile, Boeing expects India to emerge as the world's third largest global market for its commercial air fleet. It estimates Indian air carriers need about 2,500 new commercial aircraft by 2040.
It's also stepping up its commitment through the government's Make in India initiative. For instance, if every year, Boeing sources components from local players worth over $1 billion, it now intends to double this to $2 billion.
"We source from about 200 suppliers, who manufacture high-end systems and components. We hope to increase this to $2 billion over the next few years," said Salil Gupte, President, Boeing India.
The Indian companies provide critical components including aerostructures, avionics mission systems and ground support equipment. Besides, the company also has other partnerships including the Tata Boeing Aerospace Ltd (TBAL) in Hyderabad that produces uplock boxes for its 777 fleet.
Similarly, city-based Cyient too supports critical design-engineering projects for Boeing airplanes and currently provides design and stress support on the 747-8 Freighter and the 787.