Bombardier sees big demand as India looks at air connectivity
Posted on Mar 15 2014 | IANS
By Mohammed Shafeeq, Hyderabad, March 15 : As India is mulling developing non-metro airports and improving regional connectivity, Canadian aircraft maker Bombardier believes its products are a natural fit for the country.
Bullish about the Indian market, it expects significant demand for business jets, commercial aircraft and other transportation products.
The Montreal-based airplane maker believes there will be a big demand in India for aircraft Q400 and CRJ series family of regional jets with seating capacity of 70 to 149 as the country is drawing up plans to connect smaller cities.
With 40 business jets and 20 commercial jets already in service in India, the company believes its products will be a perfect fit in the expansion of aviation to unconnected and underserved areas.
"There is a growing middle class, a growing consumer base and there is growing aspiration. The demographic is young and fundamental macro economic conditions are favourable. We have to make sure policy framework is there to make growth happen," Nilesh Pattanayak, regional vice president, Asia Pacific, Business Aircraft, Bombardier, told IANS.
The world's only manufacturer of both planes and trains has projected that over the next 20 years about 1,340 business aircraft and 600 commercial aircraft will be delivered in India.
"There will be a nearly 13-fold increase. The base is huge and we are extremely positive about it. The growth of business aircraft is directly proportional to corporate profits growth and everybody in India is optimistic about growth towards the end of this year and next year. There will be clarity after elections in terms of economic policy. We are also positive about the boom returning to India," he told IANS at India Aviation 2014 here.
The largest exhibition and conference of India's civil aviation concludes Sunday.
The firm, which showcased its products at all four editions of the event, considers India a very important part of the global supply chain and its overall strategy.
Bombardier, which has a 10-year-long relationship with India, has great support setup in the region. It is making investments in India to strengthen its presence.
Nilesh wants India to eliminate import duty on business jets saying it is punitive for no reason. He argues that aircraft contribute to the economic growth of the country. He is also for encouraging global players to do the backend operations at airports and work as Fixed Base Operators.
"Create a framework to make it easy for global players to set up own businesses with 100 percent or 75 percent ownership. They will bring with them world class processes, resources and knowledge base which will train younger people here to provide support to backend infrastructure and ensure safety for all air travellers," he said.
"By being protected we are not helping ourselves in the economy. By opening up aviation industry to foreign players by creating basic infrastructure for chartered and others, making it easier to own an aircraft without duty and making it easier for foreign registered aircraft to operate will help the economy," he added.
(Mohammed Shafeeq can be contacted at [email protected])