Cash-strapped national carrier Air India, beset by a two-week strike by more than 200 pilots, has canceled service to more than 20 international destinations and is suffering losses of approximately $2 million a day. The strike, which resulted in the termination of 71 pilots, has not affected domestic and short-haul international flights, said a spokesperson.
Air Works is India’s only exhibitor at this year’s EBACE show–perhaps surprising, given the high expectations for business aviation growth in that country and the fact that EBACE’s catchment area has been extending eastward in recent years.
Judging by the dominance of business jets at India Aviation 2012, held at Hyderabad in southern India from March 14 to 18, predictions of double-digit general aviation growth in the country have inspired manufacturers and service providers to boost their presence in the market.
India’s ailing airliner sector was conspicuous by its absence from the third biennial show, barring a static display of the Boeing 787 in Air India’s colors and a mock-up of the Russian Irkut MC-21 airliner. Instead, a spurt of announcements relating to India’s business aviation sector lifted spirits.
After years of frustration, India’s business aviation community is hoping that a new report due to be published in April will trigger a sea change in government policy toward the industry. A team of representatives from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation is preparing for business and general aviation in India a blueprint that is expected to form the foundation for a more transparent and consistent approach to both regulating and stimulating the industry.
As highly taxed fuel, mounting debt and aggressive ticket pricing stifle the fledgling airline industry in India, the government seems ready to renege on its promise to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country’s carriers. Current rules do not permit foreign airlines to invest in domestic carriers, although non-aviation-related investors can hold up to a 49-percent stake.
Middle East-based flight support group Nexus Flight Operations Services is preparing to set up an operation in India. Nexus India is being established through a partnership with Mumbai-based Sovika Airline Services, which has been involved in aircraft handling and airport support for more than 20 years.
With 154 aircraft, India may still have the Asia Pacific region’s second largest business jet fleet (China has an estimated 215 jets), but the industry’s growth continues to be stunted by a lack of a policy framework that applies to it, as well as by inadequate infrastructure and regulatory barriers.
India’s Directorate of Revenue Intelligence has slapped a $3.3 million penalty and fine on New Delhi-based Bharat Hotels for not paying customs duty on the Embraer Legacy 600 it imported for charter services in 2009.
India could emerge as the third largest aviation market by 2029, from a ranking of 12th in 2010, according to a new report from the Airports Council International (ACI) at the recent India Aviation show in Hyderabad.
After years of frustration, India’s business aviation community is hoping that a new report due to be published next month will trigger a sea change in government policy toward the industry. A team of representatives from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation is preparing for business and general aviation in India a blueprint that could form the foundation for a more transparent and consistent approach to both regulating and stimulating the industry.
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