Hyderabad: With Indian corporates coming out of slowdown and the government focusing on developing airport infrastructure in remote areas, the highend business aircraft segment appears to be back on the growth track in India.
“Business aviation is gradually picking up in India, ending the previous negative growth. The government has acted on some of our concerns like faster clearances, etc, which are beneficial to this segment,” said Rajan Mehra, CEO of Club One Air.
The business aviation segment has select customers like high networth individuals, celebrities and politicians. “The sector’s growth depends on the earnings of corporates.”
Indian corporates have been seeing a steady growth in earnings. In the third quarter, net profit of 2,043 companies rose to a six-quarter high of 27.5 per cent.
Business aircraft makers are hopeful of seeing traction in demand in India. The recovery of the demand for business jets “is fragile. But it is picking up,” said Vadim Feldzer, a spokesman for Dassault Aviation.
“We sold four pre-used Falcons in India. It is a good sign of recovery,” he said.
Currently, India has 487 business airplanes and it is expected to reach nearly 2,500 by the year 2030, if the segment grows by 12 per cent. Even in the worst case scenario, Business Aircraft Operators Association believes the total number of business aircraft in India would touch nearly 700.
Unlike the trend prior to 2008, he said the demand is now driven more by chartered flight operators than the actual users reflecting the changing ownership pattern. Corporates, he said, have become more calculated in spending their money after the 2008 slowdown, preferring chartered flights than maintaining private fleet.