MUMBAI (TIP): India has emerged as the biggest fleet owner of business aircraft in the Asia Pacific surpassing China with business houses and high net worth individuals (HNIs) acquiring aircraft. Even during the economic slowdown period of 2008- 12, Indian businessmen purchased 38 per cent more aircraft than the previous five years as per estimates by Beechcraft Corporation.

According to Beechcraft, a leading manufacturer of business aircraft, India has a fleet of 254 business aircraft as compared to 213 in China, 192 in Japan, 150 in Hong Kong, 66 in Malaysia, and 53 in Thailand, making it the biggest fleet owner in Asia Pacific with 15 per cent market share. As per latest data from Beechcraft, 65 business aircraft were delivered in India between 2008 and 2012, up from 47 in the previous five years. This was compared to 119 delivered in China, 19 in Japan, 47 in Hong Kong and 10 in South Korea.

Quoting Knight Frank Wealth Report 2013, Beechcraft said the number of wealthy businessmen (HNIs) in India would double from 8,481 in 2012 to 17,032 in 2022. During the same period, the number of HNIs in China will grow 137 per cent from 10,849 to 25,660. “Our survey of senior executives from around the world, and fund managers based in London, revealed that 96 per cent of global professional investors and senior business executives forecast growth for the Indian economy over the next five years and 41 per cent of respondents stated that this growth would be ‘significant’. About 53 per cent believe that the business aviation sector in India will grow significantly over the coming decade,” Beechcraft said.

Considering this, Beechcraft has identified India as one of the most attractive markets in the world for business aviation and has committed significant investments. “The country continues to be an exciting market for us. With significant growth in deliveries over the past decade, the country continues to show huge potential for future growth. This is why we have decided to make a significant investment in increasing our presence in India,” said Richard Emery, President, APAC and EMEA, Beechcraft, at a press conference in Mumbai.

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