A slowdown in reforms in India over the past five years–and a virtual pause in procurement–may be about to change following renewed optimism and confidence as the new government shows, for the moment at least, that it is serious. As hectic activity takes place in the ministries of commerce, finance and defense, increasing manufacturing, exports and foreign direct investment (FDI) are focus areas of the new regime.
Foreign companies can now own 49 percent of Indian defense companies, following a change announced as part of the country’s budget statement on July 10. The budget was presented by Finance and Defense Minister Arun Jaitley, a member of the newly elected government. It includes an allocation of $38.17 billion for defense, a gain of 12.44 percent. Some $15.76 billion of this (up from $13.15 billion last year) is capital expenditure, used primarily for procurement.
NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen praised the leaders of the House General Aviation Caucus on Tuesday for their continued support of “one of America’s greatest industries,” and repeated opposition to proposals that would be harmful to general aviation. “General aviation provides more than 1.2 million jobs–good manufacturing and service jobs–and also supports tens of thousands of American businesses,” he explained to a capacity crowd in a Capitol Hill hearing room.
The National Aircraft Resale Association (NARA) announced that two new products and services members, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and LL Johns & Associates, have joined the association. All NARA members must follow a code of ethics and broker/dealer members must pass a rigorous application process, established last year, to become an exclusive NARA-certified aircraft broker/dealer. “NARA products and services members’ commitment to the code of ethics guarantees value and instills the highest degree of confidence for aircraft buyers and operators,” it said.
Projected demand for private charter flights suggests significant volatility over the early part of the Northern Hemisphere summer season, according to the latest data from online charter portal Avinode. The company’s forward-looking demand index for 30 days beginning June 2 showed marked decreases in most categories analyzed for the North American and European markets, with some notable exceptions.
Demand for charter flights is set to rise over the next 30 days as the European and North American markets gear up for the traditionally busy northern hemisphere summer season, according to data from online charter portal Avinode.
There is good news and bad news when it comes to financing for pre-owned business aircraft. The good news is that financing is available for aircraft buyers; the bad news is that banks are primarily lending only to those with exceptionally good credit who are buying an aircraft that is less than 20, and even in some cases less than 10, years old, according to a panel of aircraft financiers at the recent NBAA Aircraft Registration, Finance and Legal Conference in St. Petersburg, Fla.
As the U.S. expressed “concern” on Tuesday over the devaluation of China’s currency, making its exports cheaper but reducing the buying power of Chinese consumers, Chinese airlines continued to feel the pain of a weaker yuan as the value of their foreign debt rose with the relative strengthening of the U.S. dollar. China Southern Airlines, for one, on Tuesday issued a profit warning report estimating a first-quarter net loss resulting from negative foreign exchange fluctuations.
“There has been an enormous amount of energy and enthusiasm here in Shanghai at ABACE, despite the change in weather from sunny skies on the opening day to rain yesterday,” National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) president and CEO Ed Bolen told AIN as he summed up the show so far.
Two years ago, explained Kurt Edwards, director general of the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), the idea was floated that the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), which has the mission of improving economic growth in Pacific Rim countries, could also “improve the way that the economies facilitate the movement of business aviation within the region, because business aviation contributes to economic growth.”
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