Friday, September 06, 2019

General aviation beats slowdown blues, flights up 18% in July

New Delhi: Sectors such as auto and FMCG could be in the grip of a economic slowdown but general aviation, which includes charter flights, has largely bucked the trend so far. Experts attributed it to the early onset of travel season, demand from high networth individuals (HNIs) and better infrastructure in the country.

In July, total aircraft movement in general aviation space stood at 20,764, a growth of 18.4 per cent compared to 17,542 in the same month last year. In June 2019, the aircraft movement slipped into negative but was healthy in the previous months on high demand during election campaign (see chart).

Charter plane operators said that a one-way trip from Delhi to Mumbai in a Falcon jet costs about Rs 10 lakh. The same ferry in a Cessna aircraft would cost about Rs 5 lakh. Hiring a twin-engine helicopter for a short journey such as Delhi-Dehradun costs Rs 1.75 to Rs 2 lakh.
"Normally, the season starts in August onward but this time people started travelling from July itself. We saw a healthy growth, but not a very significant jump in demand," said Rajan Mehra, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Club One Air and former India head of Qatar Airways.

Some of the experts said that slowdown does affect corporate travel but requirements are always there for charter aircraft for tourism and business. Demands from politicians are also there.
05/09/19 IANS/ZeeBiz
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