Sunday, October 10, 2021

Gujarat: Six firms get licences for aircraft leasing in GIFT City; seven more in pipeline

 Ahmedabad: In a significant development, six aircraft leasing firms including one headquartered at Ireland — the global hub for aircraft leasing — have been given licenses to operate from GIFT City in Gujarat. Officials said that seven more entities have applied for licences for starting operations. The development comes within six months of the Centre announcing a regulatory framework for making GIFT City an aircraft leasing hub.

The current demand for leased aircrafts is coming from flying clubs, air taxis and from corporates leasing out business jets. “Six licenses have already been issued to firms for conducting aircraft leasing activities from International Financial Services Centre (IFSC). Seven more companies have already applied for licenses which are currently being scrutinised. Each of these companies have formed a Special Purpose Vehicle to operate from here. Five of those given licences are Indian firms, while the sixth is a subsidiary of a firm based in Ireland,” a senior official from GIFT City told The Sunday Express.

Acumen Aviation, having headquarters in Ireland was given license in July 2021. This firm is an important addition to aircraft leasing business in India as it is estimated that Ireland alone commands 60 per cent of the global leasing market.

The others players in GIFT City are JetSetGo Aviation, Vman Aviation Services, Wels, Rensar Aviation and Millennium Aviation.

According to IFSCA officials, the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation is promoting setting up of new flying clubs in the country. “These flying clubs require a number of training aircraft. These aircrafts are not manufactured in India. Currently, there is a huge demand for trainer aircrafts from such clubs,” said a state government official.

The demand for leased aircrafts is also coming from air-taxi operators. For instance, the deal for a second aircraft to be leased through GIFT City by Vman Aviation is for an air taxi service in Bengaluru. Thirdly, the demand is also coming from corporates interested in leasing business jets,” the IFSCA official said.

While the Airbus H125 helicopter leased from Vman is yet to be delivered, the Hawker 800 XP aircraft leased by JetSetGo Aviation became the first aircraft to be leased through GIFT IFSC in August 2021.

10/10/21 Avinash Nair/Indian Express

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