“Do you know a CEO who logs about 600 hours of flying on his business jet every year adds one month of productive time to his annual output?” asks Capt. Karan Singh.
“Or that companies using business aviation generate up to 144 per cent more profit than those not using them?” he continues, quoting from recent global studies.
Capt. Singh, CEO of Indo-Pacific Aviation and MD of Business Aircraft Operators Association (BAOA), has a purpose behind asking these questions—to highlight the potential this sector has and the roadblocks that are stunting its growth. In the run-up to new Union Budget, the association is making a fresh bid to seek certain relaxations in the existing tax regime, which, it says, is keeping a tight lid on its expansion.
High-flying corporate chieftains in India are today increasingly taking to business jets to save on time and shore up productivity.
India, according to Forbes, has 4 per cent of the world's billionaires, with 48 billionaires having a combined net worth of $194 billion.
From 171 business aircraft in 2001, the fleet touched 552 in 2010, the highest growth of 26 per cent seen in 2006.
“Today, the fleet will be around 600, including copters, and projected to touch 1,800 by 2020. But the growth would have been much but for some policy initiatives,” Capt Singh told Business Line.
High Import duty on aircraft, customs duties on spares, VAT on sales of jets and high ground handling charges are some of the challenges this sector faces.
“Today, it takes between six and 12 months to get the clearances for buying an aircraft,” says Mr Vinit Phatak, MD of Invision Air, which is procuring 12 Embraer aircraft.