India to Showcase its Growth Narrative at the Wings Aviation Show

By Consultants Review Team Wednesday, 17 January 2024

Wings India, a biennial aviation event, will open in Hyderabad on Thursday, bringing together corporate leaders and officials. The event takes happen against the backdrop of a historic domestic aviation traffic increase in 2023. The administration is likely to exploit the opportunity to highlight India's growth story and seek fresh investment.

Twenty-five aircraft and helicopters will be on exhibit at Begumpet Airport, the most thus far. These include Air India's Airbus A350, Boeing's 777-9, and IndiGo's Airbus A321 freighter. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. will showcase its Dornier-228 aircraft and improved Dhruv helicopter.

The four-day event, coordinated by the Civil Aviation Ministry and FICCI, will also include the signing of agreements on sustainability and aviation training. Akasa Air, a low-cost carrier, is set to announce its order for Boeing 737 Max aircraft. This will be a boost for Boeing, which has faced criticism after a door plug fell from an Alaska Air plane recently.

According to the Civil Aviation Ministry, the subject for the 2024 edition is 'Connecting India to the World in Amrit Kaal', and the event will aim to establish India as an international aviation hub. Other priorities will include capacity building, sustainability, and advanced air mobility. 

Ministers from seven nations will attend, including Cambodia, Fiji, Hungary, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sweden, and Tanzania. Johan Davidson, Sweden's state secretary, will announce a collaboration between an Indian aviation company and a Swedish innovation company to develop sustainable aircraft solutions.

"India is not only the world's fastest growing aviation market, but it also contributes significantly to the global industry," said Remi Maillard, president and managing director of Airbus in India and South Asia.

Domestic carriers flew 152 million passengers in CY2023, above the pre-pandemic peak of 144 million set in 2019. The fleet size of Indian carriers increased to 771 after they added 112 aircraft last year. However, supply chain difficulties are causing challenges for airlines. Globally, airlines are extending their leases. The availability of aircraft in the secondary lease market has also diminished. Aside from that, airlines suffer infrastructure constraints.

"When it comes to reforms, the administration must approach them holistically rather than piecemeal. We are adding planes, but airport infrastructure must stay up to accommodate development. "Adequate manpower is required for efficiency," said Vishok Mansingh, CEO of Vman, an aircraft leasing firm.

Business aircraft makers, too, require improved infrastructure to support expansion. "India is undergoing a transition to become the world's third largest economy. Business aircraft are in high demand as they transition from a luxury to a business tool. However, there are infrastructure difficulties that must be addressed, and we believe that dedicated business aviation fixed base operators with parking are urgently required. This would propel corporate aviation to new heights, rivalling the United States and Europe. "Today is both a challenge and an opportunity," said Abhishek Sinha, Bombardier Business Aircraft's sales director.


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