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One in two flights cancelled due to outbreak: Boeing

HYDERABAD: ONE in every two flights was cancelled in the Asia Pacific region following the outbreak of COVID-19, according to aircraft maker Boeing.

Much of the brunt was borne by Mainland China that saw as much as 80 per cent flight cancellations during the peak virus period. “Under normal circumstances, we see about 15,000 departures a day in the Mainland China market. And at the peak of the virus, they were operating around 3,000 flights a day. This is an 80 per cent decline,” said Darren Hulst, vice-president and global head of marketing of the Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of ‘Wings India-2020’ here on Friday, he said India was an outlier and did not see much impact of the virus.

“If you exclude China, in the rest of the Asia Pacific market, we saw about 5,000 flights a day. And at one point in time, we saw about 2,500. These are rough numbers,” he added.

Similarly, 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. Meanwhile, Boeing expects India to emerge as the world’s third-largest global market for commercial air fleet. It’s also stepping up its commitment through the Make in India initiative. For instance, every year, Boeing sources components from local players worth over $1 billion, and now, it intends to double this to $2billion.

Indian companies provide critical components including aerostructures, avionics mission systems and ground support equipment. Besides this, the company also has other partnerships including TBAL in Hyderabad that produces uplock boxes for its 777 fleet.

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