India promises a huge potential for the business jets market as it grows exponentially
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Business of Jet-Setting

India promises a huge potential for the business jets market as it grows exponentially

Yuvraj Sakhare

To own a business jet is no longer a luxury, it has become a necessity especially for doing business at international levels. The growth in increase of business jet ownership in the last decade can be attributed to a number of reasons such as India’s ever evolving business culture, overseas expansion of Indian business houses and civil aviation industry’s timely adaption of new technology.

India boasts of the third largest fleet of mid to large cabin business jets in the Asia-Pacific region. According to the latest findings by Global Jet Capital, an American financial solutions provider, India has 120 mid to large-sized private jets representing 45 per cent of business jets in the country. When it comes to business jets market, India ranks among top five in the region. As of year-end 2016 India has 139 business jets while the number of civil helicopters count at 304, reveals the Asian Sky Group Data. Compared to big markets like the US and Mexico where the total number of business jets owned tallies at a whopping 13,017 and 966 respectively, Indian market is certainly a tiny one. But, what is driving business jet manufacturers to invest in India is the growth rate in the region which has been promising. Market experts predict that India will have as many as 1,340 private planes in the next 20 years.

Potential of Business Jets Market
The past couple of years have been slow for business aviation in India, with more aircraft being sold by Indian owners than being bought. However, this trend has started to see a reverse swing since mid-2016 and fewer new and pre-owned aircraft have been booked by Indian operators with deliveries lined up for 2017 and beyond.

Market experts forecast that there will be a promising demand for business jets in India as the county is increasingly becoming a mature market economy. Business aviation industry in India is expected to witness a growth that is three times that of the existing and become the third largest aviation industry in the coming years.

Apart from business executives, film stars, sportspersons and celebrities, real estate tycoons and jewellery houses are among the potential business jet buyers.

Challenges Ahead
Infrastructural limitations, heavy import duty and high costs of operations are among the various reasons why Indian business tycoons hesitate to buy private jets. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the principal regulatory body in the field of civil aviation, has been streamlining the procedure of acquiring landing permits and getting over flight clearances which helps operators plan flights on short notice.

In a welcome move, a few years ago the DGCA had reduced lead times for landing and over flight clearances. “Business aviation is about having the flexibility to move around the globe in the shortest possible time with least hindrances, so any lead time reduction is welcome,” said Mandeep Sandhu, Chief Executive Officer, NEXUS India.

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