New Delhi: With the ministry of civil aviation announcing its intention to hold India Aviation 2008 at the soon to be decommissioned Begumpet airport in Hyderabad from 15-18 October, news is now filtering in that business jet majors such as Bombardier Aerospace, Cessna Aircraft and Hawker Beechcraft may very likely pitch their tents at the show.
Bombardier Aerospace spokesman Leo Knaapen has been quoted in the American media as saying that the company was planning to exhibit at the new show as India was emerging as a very promising market.
Hawker Beechcraft spokeswoman Jackie Berger said that her company would be present for the airshow as well. She pointed out that Beechcraft has been doing business in India for over 50 years.
Cessna Aircraft representative Doug Oliver hedged a bit saying that they were yet to arrive at a decision as their air show schedule for 2008 was already set before information about the new show came in.
These company representatives pointed out that the Indian aviation market had changed significantly in recent times. The civil aviation sector was booming and considerable restructuring efforts were underway, including modernization of airports.
A significant change was also in the reduction of luxury taxes levied on business aircraft.
According to the Indian government there would be a market for 500 general aviation aircraft by 2020. Domestic air traffic is expected to grow to 180 million passengers and international traffic to 50 million passengers by 2020.
The India Aviation 2008 airshow will be a biennial, according to the show's co-organizers, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). It will feature exhibits, chalets, flying displays, customer demonstration flights, static displays and media conferences and will be professionally managed by Farnborough International, organizers of the prestigious UK show, one of the top rated aviation shows in the world.
India also hosts the AeroIndia show, which is oriented more towards military aviation. The show, which is held at Air Force Station Yelahanka, Bangalore, every two years was last hosted in February 2007 and drew more than 500 exhibitors from a variety of civil and military aircraft manufacturers, vendors and suppliers.
The expression of interest from prestigious business jet makers such as Bombardier, Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft will be welcome news for the ministry of civil aviation and its co-organizers, Ficci.