Dubai: US aircraft manufacturer Boeing, on Sunday, announced preliminary plans to set up a new supply and distribution centre for aviation parts and components in India. The collaboration with ‘preeminent’ Indian firms will cater to defence and commercial products, said Brendan Nelson, Vice President of Boeing and President of Boeing International.
At a media briefing ahead of the Dubai Airshow, set to begin on Monday, November 13, Nelson said, “We are building a supply and distribution centre for components and parts. We’re working very closely at the moment with some preeminent Indian companies on some defence products and also some commercial products.” Nelson refrained from disclosing the companies involved or the specific location of this upcoming centre.
With a global presence in over 150 countries, Boeing holds an optimistic view of India’s future. He said, “India is an exciting country. It is an emerging superpower. In some ways, it reminds you of late 19th century America, with a vast market with now with the reforms that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has undertaken, enabling companies like us to be confident in increasing our investment.”
He added, “We certainly intend to invest much more in India and support the country in its aviation sector.”
Boeing presently employs 5,500 individuals in India, with a significant engineering workforce. The company’s substantial investments include a $200 million engineering centre in Bangalore, set to open early next year.
The company also has a joint venture with Indian conglomerate Tata in Hyderabad, producing parts for Boeing’s AH-64 Apache helicopter.
We certainly intend to invest much more in India and support the country in its aviation sector
‘Middle East is critically important to us’
Commenting on its growth plans for the region, Nelson said that the Middle East is ‘critically important’ for Boeing. “It's not just crucial for our business and customers, but for the world's future. We currently employ over 3,000 in the region, primarily in Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha, and Kuwait,” he said.
“We're deeply involved in joint ventures, entities, and university partnerships, aiming to nurture the aviation ecosystem, invest in R&D, foster local manufacturing, and expand capacity to serve both commercial and defense sectors,” Nelson added.
Despite the high volume of demand from airlines for new aircraft, Nelson, also the former defence and education minister of Australia, said supply chain challenges would continue until next year.
However, he said the company has no intention to ‘chase rate at the expense of safety or quality.’ “We need to ensure that our suppliers are not under undue duress for us to grow rate,” said Nelson. The company has 20,000 suppliers across the world and 15 engineering centres.
Boeing expects to deliver 42,595 planes over the next 20 years, valued at $8 trillion. The Middle East region will require more than 3,000 new aeroplanes by 2042.