MRO Memo: Boeing To Ramp Up Parts Network In India

India is expected to see a high volume of new aircraft enter its commercial fleet over the next decade.

Credit: Mark Stevens/Alamy Stock Photo

The historic Air India order of 470 aircraft this week has brought India into the global spotlight. Against the backdrop of this order and India's rapidly growing civil aviation market, aircraft manufacturer Boeing is all set to deepen its roots on Indian soil.

With a high number of next-generation aircraft set to arrive in India, the civil aviation ecosystem in the country needs to be in place for smoother operations. Eyeing this market space, Boeing is planning to invest $24 million to set up a logistics center in India.

The center will serve as "an ecosystem of comprehensive support packages" with maintenance capabilities thereby reducing flight cancellations or aircraft groundings due to maintenance or spare parts-related issues. 

In the initial phase of the operations, the India logistics center will focus on supporting airline customers as the civil aviation sector continues to advance towards one day becoming the world’s third largest passenger market, surpassed only by the U.S. and China. In the second phase, the logistics center will cater to the larger network of Boeing’s customers in the region.

Meanwhile, Boeing is already supporting local customers by creating an ecosystem of comprehensive support packages and indigenous MRO capabilities with its partners through its Boeing India Repair Development and Sustainment (BIRDS) hub program.

In the latest outlook, Boeing predicts that India will need 2,210 new aircraft with the fleet size projected to nearly quadruple by 2041 compared to 2019, with the passenger traffic expected to grow by 7%. Boeing further anticipates that 90% of this new demand will be for narrowbody aircraft like the 737 MAX. 

Based on the forecast, Boeing is further deepening its Indian roots with the launch of its first global support center. The center will be based in Gurugram, near Delhi and will be delivering customized optimized operational efficiency and safety enhancement projects for Boeing's airline customers, civil aviation regulators, and other industry stakeholders.

Boeing plans to conduct technical workshops and projects to support aircraft reliability, enhance airplane performance, and encourage the adoption of Airplane Health Management systems through the new center. The facility will also be used for Boeing to conduct flight operations symposiums and engineering seminars.

Investment in India’s supply chain infrastructure comes at a time of disruption for the global aviation network. Airlines all over the world are grappling with supply chain issues arising due to socio-political conditions and Russia-Ukraine conflict. In November 2022, Indian carriers IndiGo and SpiceJet had to ground a considerable number of their aircraft due to a lack of spare parts availability.

Going forward, Boeing is planning to explore more joint venture opportunities by add more Indian suppliers. The OEM is expected to make major announcements at this week’s Aero India show.