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A growing economy, rising revenues of domestic companies, and an increasing number of high-net-worth individuals are likely to drive growth in the segment says the report.
Poor connectivity to smaller towns in rural areas and the need to save time and increase productivity have also fuelled growth, according to the report commissioned by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
“The domestic general aviation market is on the threshold of catapulting itself into the global arena. It is expected to grow at 10 per cent per annum to cross USD 4.5 billion by FY’17 [the fiscal year of 2017],” says the report.
“It is estimated that around 120 business jets, 150 small aircraft and 180 helicopters will be added by FY17,” it added.
In 2012 India became the second-largest business jet market in the Asia-Pacific region with a fleet of 165 (up from 26 in 2005).
According to a Credit Suisse Research Institute’s Global Wealth Report the number of millionaires in India last year stood at 158,000.
This figure is likely to grow to 242,000 by the year 2017 – registering an increase of 53 per cent.
Despite this, the report notes that the domestic general aviation market is small and under-developed compared to its global peers, with only 15 per cent of the total aircraft movement.
Compared to the US, which has the largest number of general aviation planes – around 255,000 operating from across 5,110 airports.
India has only around 150 active airports and around 700 planes.
“However, India is an emerging market for private jets with the rising economic growth, expanding business interests and increasing number of billionaires,” the report says.
Quoting a report of a working group on civil aviation, PwC states that over $40 billion in investment is expected to be made in general aviation during the 12th Five Year Plan of India.
In anticipation of the growing opportunities in the general aviation segment, small aircraft-makers like Cessna, Gulfstream and Bombardier are either setting up offices in the country or expanding their existing businesses, the report concludes.