Even as the country’s commercial airline companies are incurring losses, business jet manufactures see a lot of potential in India. In fact, they are increasing participation at the coming Hyderabad Air Show to find a market among millionaires. The country is home to around 200,000 millionaires and the number is set to double by 2015 .
The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci), which is organising the March 14 event at the Andhra Pradesh capital, said it was seeing increased participation from aircraft manufacturer companies that were coming with their business aircraft. “Embrear is coming for the first time with their new business jets,” pointed out Ficci assistant secretary-general Vinay Mathur. “Airbus is bringing its Corporate Jet for the first time, while (Russia-based) Irkut Group is coming with all 25 companies -- also for the first time.”
The number of aircraft on static display is set to see an increase from 25 (including helicopters) to 35 this year. “Major helicopter manufacturers like Augusta Westland, Bell, Eurocopter and Sikorsky are repeating their participation,” Mathur said. This was to encash on a growing helicopter market in India, where state governments also buy, he added.
The Hyderabad air show is organised once every two years. This year will be its third show.
India is a big general aviation market. The private jet market constitutes 12 per cent (142 private jets) of the global market, making it bigger than that of China (93) and Japan (76).
“The Indian market has a great potential,” said Francois Chazelle, vice-president (worldwide sales), Airbus Corporate Jets. “We have been able to sell two of our aircraft in the last few years and one more this year. With our presence at the air show, we plan to clock some more numbers.” The company, he added, expected India to contribute more because Indian businessmen are going global in a big way.
The air show’s star attraction, though, would be the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. “We are getting the Dreamliners in Air India colour for the first time,” said Boeing India president Dinesh Keskar. “The aircraft is fully done and will be showcased at Hyderabad. We will be flying this aircraft directly from the US.”
Air India has on order 27 Dreamliners, the delivery of which has been delayed by three years. The decision on inducting the aircraft in the government carrier is also to come from the Cabinet.
The show, for the first time, will see participation from global simulator companies from Switzerland, the Netherlands and Canada.