News / Asia

As India's Economy Booms, Demand for Private Jets Grows

Man runs over red carpet to new Airbus A318 (File photo)
Man runs over red carpet to new Airbus A318 (File photo)
Anjana Pasricha

In India, the demand for private jets is growing at a rapid pace as an expanding economy throws up a new class of billionaires, millionaires and affluent businessmen.

Mahesh Iyer is a senior executive at the Bangalore-based Shamanur Group.  It is involved in businesses ranging from sugar mills to real estate, education and aviation.

He is among a growing number of Indian businessmen and corporate executives who frequently use a private jet to fly them whenever and wherever they want.

Iyer says it helps save time and gives company executives better control over their schedule.

“Now I am in Colombo, I have got only one flight going to Bangalore in the evening, so if somebody wants to go in the morning, then he can take a private jet, I mean if it is important that he has to go for a meeting in the morning,” Iyer explained.   

More money

As the ranks of the affluent increase in India, so too the numbers of private jets. The tally of private planes in the country is now 142 - up nearly 50 percent in three years. This is a fraction of the number in Western countries like the United States, but according to the global consulting firm, Frost and Sullivan, India has the maximum number of private jets in Asia - more than in China.    

The private planes vary from the Hawker Beechcrafts to the luxurious Airbus corporate jet.  India’s richest man - Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani -- gave an Airbus jet to his wife as a gift.

While India’s growing band of billionaires and millionaires are snapping up their own jets, many businesses are hiring them from a host of private jet charters that have come into the market to take advantage of the growing demand.

Lease or own?

Bangalore-based Jupiter Aviation is one of the companies that leases private jets. Julian D’Souza, a Jupiter executive, says business is expanding at nearly 15 percent a year.

“Private jets is a happening thing," explained D'Souza. "What happened in U.S. and Europe about 10 years back is happening today in India, slowly getting on to corporate honchos where people do not have time to go and wait at an airport and get a commercial flight, so this is the most happening thing. You just enter the airport, and you walk into your aircraft and in most places, your vehicle walks [comes] right to the gate and picks you up.”

Rental costs vary from $1500 dollars an hour for a smaller aircraft to $100,000 an hour for the bigger and more luxurious planes.

But that does not deter customers, who want to escape flight delays, traffic jams, and need faster connectivity.    

Convenience

Aviation analysts say the private planes are not just seen as symbols of wealth but as a necessary cost of doing business efficiently.  

Aviation analyst Rajan Mehra in New Delhi says the rapid growth of the economy in the last five years has helped businesses expand their operations both within and outside India.

But commercial flights are still limited to major metropolitan areas, excluding many parts of the vast country, and prompting a range of businessmen to fly in private planes.    

“It is not just industrialists right now who are going in private jets, even corporate heads, even medium level businessmen who are realizing that with distances far in India," noted Mehra, "where infrastructure is not always available for large commercial jets in the interiors, the best thing is to do is to have a small plane and be able to visit their factories, their other offices in the interiors so India is bound to be among the top countries as far as private jets go.”

It is certainly boom times for the industry. And with forecasts that India’s business jet fleet could grow three times by the end of this decade, more Bomardiers, Gulfstreams and Cessnas are expected to be seen in Indian skies.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid