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)
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid