Sunday, February 27, 2022

Soaring business: Private jets crowd Hyderabad skies

Hyderabad: Propelled by its jetsetters, Hyderabad has become the fastest-growing market for charter flights in India. From just a couple of jets until a year ago, the city's Begumpet airport now flaunts a fleet of at least 13 to 14 planes, with at least 8 to 10 movements being clocked every day.

Cost of a trip: From Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh per hour.

The high price tag notwithstanding, rough calculations show that the flying hours from the city has grown by almost 200% in the last 12 months - much higher than other metros like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Delhi.

Private jet operators say Hyderabad has about half a dozen providers, including some of the biggest names in the sector and the city now accounts for over 30% of the total charter flight business nationally.

And fliers have from Right from a six-seater to a much larger 13-seater. “There aircraft in the pipeline and will be added to the existing fl eet soon,” said V N Bharath Reddy, aviation director of Telangana, attributing this sharp rise to multiple reasons. Increased demand among industrialists and T-town celebrities, location of the Begumpet airport (sitting in the heart of the city), and the ease of doing business in Telangana.

That the parking (starts from Rs 16 per hour) and landing charges (starts from Rs 1,000) are also nominal, only makes the deal sweeter. “Post pandemic, we are seeing corporate honchos and film industry biggies leaning towards private jets for domestic business trips or holidays within India. Some are also using it for leisure trips abroad,” Reddy said.

27/02/22 Sudipta Sengupta/Times of India

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