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Business Aircraft Operators


Business Aircraft market has witnessed subdued growth primarily due to high operational cost, difficulty in ease of doing business, complicated tax structures, inadequate infrastructure and complex process to obtain operating licenses. The industry has experienced a small positive growth rate in financial year 2018 primarily because of an increase in the number of HNI's and diversification of fleet size. Development of new and existing airports, stirring regulations, regional connectivity, persistent efforts of industry leaders in changing industry perception, growth in the oil industry, and the overall boom in the economy have also contributed to the increasing demand.

Increased use of private charters by High Net worth Individuals (HNWI), politicians, business executives, for oil transportation, development of infrastructure and air ambulance has helped the market to revive from a negative growth scenario. Major companies have diversified their revenue streams, entered into international affiliations and upgraded their aircrafts to foster the market demand. The review period has witnessed an improved focus on developing the infrastructural facilities, expansion of company operations, regulatory liberalizations, leading to a gradual increase in demand and recovery of the market. There has been a significant increase and higher recognition by government to promote the business aviation sector. For instance, the industry has been included for the first time in the UDAN Regional Connectivity Scheme in 2018.

Future Analysis and Projections
Development of airports, manufacturing sector, oil and gas sector, tourism, air ambulance and pilgrimage sector, coupled with government liberalizations, connectivity schemes like UDAN RCS, the efforts of BAOA and the increase in HNIs in India will support the growth of the business aviation market. Moreover, addition of secondary airports in Mumbai & Delhi, up-gradation of existing regional airport under the RCS scheme, changes in aircraft leasing & import regulations and favorable regulations for aircraft management companies would be other growth opportunities. Use of business aviation aircrafts and helicopters in fields whose potential has not yet been utilized such as seaplanes, aerial surveys, air ambulance, managing traffic, law enforcement and others are expected to open-up and provide boast to the revenue segments.

Market Segmentation
By Revenue Streams: Air Charter Income has captured a major part, accounting for highest market share in financial year 2018. Major players focus on charter operations and outsource related services to other companies. MRO occupies second highest share with Mumbai being home to over 80% of the MRO facilities in the country. Ground handling followed by Aircraft sales commission and hospitality services (F&B) has been the third, fourth and fifth highest revenue streams respectively in 2018.

By Fleet Type: Helicopters are the most demanded air-object type in the business aviation sector of India. It covers almost half of the market share in financial year 2018 in terms of fleet size. The inherent flexibility of helicopters makes it an appropriate choice for air ambulance, transportation, slung work, pilgrimage visits and for politicians during elections. Use of helicopters for off-site operations such as for oil & gas stations, ore sites, mineral traction and others have resulted in its big fleet size. Business jets have the second highest share, followed by turboprops. India operates the third largest fleet of business jets in Asia-Pacific. Business jets are preferred by corporate houses due to their comfort, luxury and connectivity features.

By Region: The western and northern regions have been preeminent in registered fleet for business aircrafts. Delhi and Mumbai, two business and medical centers of the country, witness the highest demand. Dominance of huge number of wealthy individuals, major political movement and presence of renowned hospitals has led to such proportionate shares. They are also the base of a number of operators or aircraft management companies. Mumbai is also the home of the sole business aviation airport in India. East, northeast and central parts of India have a meager share. However, the situation is likely to change with the regional connectivity program of the government in the years to come.

Competitive Landscape
Competition in India business aviation market is fragmented with about 111 non-scheduled operators providing charter services, ground handling, aircrafts maintenance, training academies, MRO and other facilities. Each company is trying to expand its fleet size, regional presence and operational services to capture higher market share. In financial year 2018, Reliance Commercial Dealers Limited, Reliance Transport and Travels, Poonawalla Aviation and Air Charter Aviation have been some of the major players in terms of fleet size.

Global Vectra Hellicorp, Pawan Hans and Himalayan Heli are the main operators in the helicopter sector. In terms of revenue, Reliance Commercial dealers, Air Charter Aviation, AR Aviation and Orbit Aviation have led the market. Delhi and Mumbai are the two dominant catchment areas. The major challenges faced by the companies include infrastructural limitations, stringent regulations, high taxation, high operating costs and preference to scheduled airlines.