Boeing India chief downplays rejection, hopeful of better deals in future

April 29th, 2011 - 9:30 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama New Delhi, Apr 29(ANI): A day after India rejected Boeing’s bid to sell fighter jets, the company’s India chief put up a brave face on Friday saying the partnership with India went beyond just one deal and they were hopeful of clinching other deals in the future.

India on Thursday rejected bids from Boeing and Lockheed Martin for an 11 billion dollars 126-fighter plane contract, short-listing two European suppliers in a move that could delay closer strategic ties with the United States.

Boeing India President Dinesh Keskar said he was hopeful of Boeing and India having a good future in several spheres of aerospace industry, not withstanding the recent setback.

“There are lots of opportunities here, and our partnership with India is not just one deal. It is in civil side, defense side, research and technology. It is also with education, working with engineering students from IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) and ISCs (Indian Science Centre),” Keskar said.

“And finally, we have our own research centre in Bangalore. And along with all these deals, we are doing a significant work with the Indian aerospace industry to develop it as a part of our offset programme,” he added.

Keskar said the company was excited about the 850 million dollar contract for Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, the first of which would be delivered to national carrier Air India later this year.

“We are excited about introducing the 787 to Air India in the fourth quarter of this year. That will be the second airline to get this airplane, which only used to happen during the days of J. R. D. Tata (industrialist who founded Air India) in the past. So, India has a bright future in aviation. It is the only country I know where double-digit growth is happening in aviation. So, Boeing and India have an exciting future together,” he said.

Boeing is also in the final stages of negotiating a contract for C-17 cargo planes that was announced by U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in November last year.

Boeing also hopes to win orders for attack and heavy-lift helicopters. (ANI)

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