Home' Asian Aviation : AAV September 2011 Contents 24 AsianAviation | SEPTEMBER 2011
Indian business aviation
poised for boom
Although still far smaller a market than North America, India has the biggest business aviation sector in Asia, with
expectations of further explosive growth, writes Radhakrishna Rao.
ndia’s dynamic civil aviation sector, currently
the ninth-largest in the world, is surging ahead
on the back of robust economic growth.
Indeed , a study by the Sydney based Centre
for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) predicts that
by 2020 India will emerge as the world’s third-
largest aviation market, with business aviation alone
accounting for US$12 billion in revenue. The growth
in the sector, bolstered by India’s average annual gross
domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 8 percent is a
striking success story for Indian civil aviation .
Steady growth in the number of high net-worth
individuals in India , coupled with the rapid expansion of
business and ser vice sectors in the country are spurring
increasing demand for business aviation.
The Wealth Report 2011, compiled by luxury
property firm Knight Frank and Citi Private Bank,
found strong interest among super rich in private jet
purchases over the next five years. The number of private
jets in India now exceeds 140, having risen nearly 50
percent in three years .
To be sure, this is still a fraction of the number of
private and corporate jets flying in the mature North
American market. At the moment, India constitutes 12
percent of the global market for private jets.
Biggest in Asia?
Still, according to a sur vey by consultancy firm Frost and
Sullivan, India has more private jets than China or Japan,
and the highest number of any countr y in Asia : 142,
compared with 93 in China and 76 in Japan.
Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier
Aerosp ace predicts 385 business jet deliveries in India
during the period 2011-2020, with 945 in the 2021-
2030 period. Bombardier itself expects to sell about 250
business jets in India over the next five years .
Estimates sugg est that 40 percent of private aircraft
being bought in India are new, while 60 percent are used.
According to Julian D’Souza , g eneral manag er of
op erations with the Bangalore-based charter operator
Jupiter Aviation Ser vices, the business is expanding at a
rate of 15 percent a year.
“ What happened in US and Europe about ten years
back is happening today in India,” he says. “Corporate
honchos in the country who don’t have the time to g o
and wait at an airport, take to business jets. So this is the
most happ ening thing.”
Recent years have seen a ‘paradigm-shift’ in the
mindset of Indian entrepreneurs, who no longer look
at business aircraft as a luxury, but as a critical tool for
furthering their business prospe cts.
“Private jets give us a lot of flexibility in flying to
areas not accessible by commercial flights, or where
we are short of time. As our business expands, it is a
convenient way of saving time and effort,” says Gautam
Singhania , chairman and managing director of Indian
textile company Raymonds.
Not long back , corporate jets in India were seen
as more of a CEO’s status symbol. That is no longer
true, says Vivek Gour, managing director of Air Works
India’s largest maintenance, repair and overhaul
(MRO) company, which also provides spares and
services for business jets.
“ Today it is about boosting the productivity and
efficiency of senior manag ement,” Gour says. “ This
is especially true for the mid-sized companies from
Indeed, industry sources in India says that the
demand for business and personal jets is particularly
strong in fast-growing, tier-two urban centres, including
Aurangabad, Coimbatore, Tirupur, Surat and Lucknow.
“About 40-50 percent of demand is coming from
smaller towns,” says Rohit Kapur, managing director
of Arrow Aircraft, which sells Gulfstream Aerospace
jets in India . Kapur, who is also President of Business
Aircraft Operators Association of India adds: “ With
2/09/11 5:54 PM
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