According to the Ministry of Civil Aviation data, in 2010 alone, more than 10 corporate houses sought permission to acquire middle to large sized jets for “private use”.
Cos eying the sky
Mahindra and Mahindra, Jaiprakash Associates Ltd, Ashok Leyland and TVS Motors, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd, JSW, Crompton Greaves, Joy Alukkas, Tata Steel and Reliance Transport and Travel are among those making a beeline to the Ministry seeking clearance to import private jets.
The manufacturers point out that acquiring these jets actually makes sound business sense as they help pack in more into a working day.
“Most jets can land near a factory and get a person back in the air shortly after wrapping up one meeting and heading to another destination. With a scheduled airline you will not get that flexibility,” said a senior official of an aircraft manufacturer.
The Regional Vice President, Asia/Pacific, Gulfstream, Mr Jason Akovenko, pointed out that the country's private-jet market is buoyed by the country's economic growth and expanding business interests, both in India and abroad.
“As businesses continue to flourish, so too will their need for aircraft that can quickly, conveniently and safely transport business leaders and employees where they need to go,” he said.
Brazilian jet manufacturer, Embraer sees both challenges and opportunities here.
“We anticipate that the future of business jets in India will continue to gain momentum, but slowly and steadily. Infrastructure supporting the business jets industry is one of the major concerns, specifically Fixed-Base Operators, private jets terminals, access, flight permits and other such issues,” said Mr Jose Costas, Vice-President of Embraer Executive Jets for Asia Pacific.