Gulfstream eyes Indian business-aviation growth.

New business-jet deliveries to the Asia-Pacific region grew from 7 percent of global deliveries in 2007 to 12 percent in 2009, according to figures from aviation data firm JetNet.

1st Mar 2011


New business-jet deliveries to the Asia-Pacific region grew from 7 percent of global deliveries in 2007 to 12 percent in 2009, according to figures from aviation data firm JetNet. The company cites India as having the second-largest fleet in the region, with 143 business aircraft of all sorts.


The statistics were cited by Gulfstream executives promoting the company’s products at February’s Aero India 2011 show in Bangalore.


Gulfstream says its fleet in India, while still relatively small, is growing rapidly. The company had five aircraft in service in India in 2001, a number that has increased to 17 today. Of those, 12 are large-cabin, long-range jets, including the long-range G550, which can fly up to 12,000km non-stop. The rest are mid-cabin models offering range capabilities from 5,556km for the G150 to 6,300km for the G200.


“We see great long-term potential in the Indian market as infrastructure for business aviation expands and government officials focus more on this segment,” says Roger Sperry, the manufacturer’s regional senior vice-president of international sales. “The rapid development of commercial air traffic is a vital focus on the part of government; we believe attention will soon turn to business aviation, as well.”


Demand for long-range business jets remains robust because of the rapid expansion of global business ties, Sperry says. Gulfstream’s strongest sellers are also its longest-range and most capable aircraft.


“This suggests to us that emerging multinational companies have a tremendous, pent-up need for rapid and flexible transportation across and between continents,” he says.


The expanding business-aviation infrastructure, includes the construction of dedicated business-jet passenger terminals, expanded ramp space and hangar facilities, as well as increased airport capacity, the Gulfstream executive said. Among the hurdles facing the sector are curfews in major cities, which limit available operating slots for business jets.


“These are the challenges of a fast-growing economy, and we expect they will be addressed, because business aviation is an important component of the transportation system,” Sperry says.


Sperry cites India’s growing roster of billionaires (reportedly 47, ranking the country fourth in the world), as evidence of the nation’s rising affluence. Moreover, India, with more than 126,000 millionaires, has the world’s eighth-largest base of high-net-worth individuals, with recent year-over-year growth of 51 percent, according to Merrill Lynch-Capgemini, not to mention an active market for initial public offerings and a positive investment climate.


“The key for us is to expose business leaders to the remarkable ability to move rapidly across continents to manage international operations or acquire new business entities,” Sperry says. “Speed and flexibility are essential in today’s competitive global market.”


Sperry adds that Gulfstream has the largest business-aviation support organization in the world with more than 3,300 employees and US$1.2 billion in spare parts located around the world. Gulfstream aircraft are supported by Airworks India, with parts provided from supply bases in Madrid, Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore.


Gulfstream also has a Chennai-based field service representative available to Indian customers. In addition, it recently named Arrow Aircraft Sales and Charters, a professional business-aviation service provider, as its in-country authorized independent sales representative.

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Asian Aviation at a glance