Business aviation is on the upswing in India, and the country is poised to experience an even bigger boom in the sector as a result of favorable demographics and rapid economic growth. International inbound traffic is also growing in parallel with increasing investment and trade activity. The nation is attracting more international leisure travelers, reinforcing demand for investments in aviation infrastructure.
Located between the Middle East and Far East, the Indian subcontinent has strategic significance for trade and business, and the aviation industry is poised to play a major role in the nation’s growing economy. According to The Economist Intelligence Unit, India might host 411,000 millionaires by 2017, making the nation one of the world’s fastest growing markets.
General aviation in the nation is growing faster than aviation as a whole, according to Capt. Karan Singh, president of the Business Aviation Association for India (BAAI). “All major business houses and high-net-worth individuals are aspiring to own aircraft,” he told AIN. He further explained that the mindset of business leaders has changed as Indian companies now have global ambitions. “Aircraft are considered a tool and not a toy,” he said, noting that aircraft ownership extends to many small and medium-sized companies.
Currently there are 258 multi-engine turbine aircraft (99 helicopters and 159 fixed wing) and 85 single-engine turbine aircraft (77 helicopters and eight fixed wing) in India. There are 88 nonscheduled operation certificate holders with 255 aircraft. Private owners operate 193 aircraft. Demand for private aircraft is increasing, according to Government of India Ministry of Civil Aviation Joint Secretary Arun Mishra, who told AIN that the ministry approved 100 applications for import of general aviation aircraft in 2006, and 200 (including helicopters) last year. Fifty-six new nonscheduled or charter operators were given permission last year.