The private aviation business is growing at a healthy rate and according to private jet charter operators and industry insiders, the business is gaining popularity among high-flying executives, CEOs, businessmen and celebrities with ease of booking jets and flexibility of flying emerging as one of the most popular factors for the business in the country. Industry insiders also reveal that connectivity for private jet flyers to non-metro markets will also drive the industry forward with the private aviation industry expected to grow to around Rs 5,000 crore by 2020. Several business jet charter companies have emerged in the country in the past few years. Data from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation revealed that there are 126 private jet charter operators in the country operating 204 planes.
“We have a clientele that ranges from business tycoons, real estate moguls, celebrities and even start-up founders. The novelty is the flexibility. There is also a factor of luxury involved. Flying from business jets saves you time and the clients that we have usually make more money in a day by flying to a destination than the money spent on hiring the jet. We have steadily seen our client base increase over the last year and the future outlook seems positive for the industry,” business jet operator Club One Air’s CEO Bhupen Joshi said.
Jayant Nadkarni, president of Business Aircraft Operators Association (BAOA), said that “chartering a private jet for yourself relieves you of the hassles of airline time restrictions and flying in a packed aircraft. You have more freedom to fly to destinations that may not be connected generally by airlines. Nowadays, the business has reached deep into smaller towns in many states and also new industrial townships are emerging like in Jharkhand and Gujarat.” Airlines flying scheduled flights operate and connect only 47 airports in the country while private business jet charter businesses fly to more than double that number. In 2015, the private aviation charter business stood at Rs 1,800 crore. In end of last year, Baron Aviation published a report which predicted that the private aviation business will grow to around Rs 5,000 crore by 2020. Baron works as a private jet aggregator or booking agent through its portal BookMyCharters. The brokering service works with many operators and claims that the booking process can be completed in a minute, which this correspondent witnessed himself. Insiders said that New Delhi is the choice location to operate these services with at least 75% of the planes registered in the capital. The Mumbai airport is exorbitantly expensive — the highest in the world. Aviation charges including take-off, landing and parking charges for a small business jet per day are priced at least Rs 1 lakh.