Private jet makers target India's super-rich

The growing list of billionaires in India is an enticing prospect for executive jet makers seeking to recover from a slump in demand caused by the global financial crisis.

Prominent among exhibitors at the ongoing Aero India 2011 air show in Bangalore were manufacturers such as US-based Gulfstream and Brazil's Embraer - both hoping to seduce corporate high-flyers with their luxury private planes.

The global private jet market had a hard landing in 2008-09, with jet prices plunging by up to 30 percent and actual flying time falling by an estimated 40 percent.

But India's fast-growing economy minted 17 new billionaires in 2010, driving the total to a record 69, according to Forbes magazine's list of the world's wealthiest individuals.

The country's richest man, Mukesh Ambani, reportedly gifted his wife a $60 million Airbus, complete with entertainment cabins and showers, for her birthday in 2007.

Jose Eduardo Costas, vice president of Asia sales for Embraer, said the Brazilian firm had a host of orders lined up.

"A private jet is not a Ferrari or a luxury boat. It's a business tool and the market here realises that," he said.

"Five of our aircraft are already with the government and four with private companies, and in the next three years we will be making 30 deliveries of our jets."

Gulfstream said there were 17 of its aircraft in India by the end of last year, up from just five in 2001, adding that 12 of them were large-cabin models including the G550, which has a range of 12,000 kilometres (7,500 miles).

"We see great long-term potential in the Indian market as infrastructure for business aviation expands and government officials focus more on this segment," said Roger Sperry, Gulfstream's senior vice-president for international sales.

According to figures from aviation data firm JetNet, new business jet deliveries to the wider Asia-Pacific region grew from 7.0 percent of the world market in 2007 to 12 percent in 2009.

JetNet cited India as having the second-largest fleet in the region, with 143 business aircraft of all sorts - a sign of the country's growing presence in the top-end luxury goods market.

Cessna Aircraft Co. set up shop four years ago in Bangalore and industry experts say the Kansas-based manufacturer leads its private jet competitors in India.

"India is important to Cessna and the expanding economy should soon support a robust business aircraft fleet and infrastructure," said Cessna's vice president for international sales, Trevor Esling.

He declined to give details of orders the company has on hand or the number of planes delivered, but said: "By 2025 I would expect India to be in the top 10 individual countries for business jet ownership outside the United States."

 

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Network Executive - Adrenalin Sports - OTE £21,000

    £19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking for an exciting...

    Guru Careers: Product Manager / Product Marketing Manager / Product Owner

    COMPETITIVE: Guru Careers: A Product Manager / Product Owner is required to jo...

    Guru Careers: Carpenter / Maintenance Operator

    £25k plus Benefits: Guru Careers: A Carpenter and Maintenance Operator is need...

    Recruitment Genius: Visitor Experience Coordinator

    £17600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum cares for one of the largest...

    Day In a Page

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

    Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
    Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

    The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

    Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
    A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

    A Very British Coup, part two

    New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
    Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

    Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

    Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms
    What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist? Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories

    What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist?

    Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories
    Chinese web dissenters using coded language to dodge censorship filters and vent frustration at government

    Are you a 50-center?

    Decoding the Chinese web dissenters
    The Beatles film Help, released 50 years ago, signalled the birth of the 'metrosexual' man

    Help signalled birth of 'metrosexual' man

    The Beatles' moptop haircuts and dandified fashion introduced a new style for the modern Englishman, says Martin King
    Hollywood's new diet: Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?

    Hollywood's new diet trends

    Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?
    6 best recipe files

    6 best recipe files

    Get organised like a Bake Off champion and put all your show-stopping recipes in one place
    Ashes 2015: Steven Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

    Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

    Middlesex bowler claims Ashes hat-trick of Clarke, Voges and Marsh
    Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

    Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

    I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
    Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

    Margaret Atwood on climate change

    The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
    New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

    New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

    What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
    Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

    The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

    Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
    Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

    Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

    The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action