Sunday, February 11, 2007

Bangalore: At the Aero India show in Bangalore, which will conclude today, private business jet manufacturers outnumbered military aircraft manufacturers.
Private jets cost anywhere between a few crores and Rs300 crores and house private showers, king-size beds, Internet and satellite phone connections, and even a dedicated service crew.
Leonard Knaapen, a senior executive with Bombardier, says the rising number of High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) in India makes it an attractive market.
With India Inc embarking on a global growth path, private jets will not just be symbolic of power and pelf, but will also crunch time. A Bombardier study says that for every 400 hours a businessman flies his jet, he saves almost a month’s time.
While the Indian market has its challenges, the opportunities are immense. “A lot has changed in the last two years. For the first time we have appointed a sales director in India,” says Bombardier regional vice-president (Asia Pacific) David M Dixon.
A senior official with another private plane manufacturer says over 150 private planes would be sold this year. At the top-end of the spectrum are the Airbus Corporate Jet and Boeing Business Jet, both worth around Rs250 crores each.
Many businessmen from Tier II and III towns are also among those enthusiastically looking at these planes.
11/02/07 Praveena Sharma/Josy Joseph/Daily News & Analysis

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