Hawker Beechcraft fighting downturn via India market

October 26th, 2008 - 2:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Oct 26 (IANS) Leading global producer of corporate jets, Hawker Beechcraft of the US, is fighting the global economic downturn by diversifying into India, Brazil and Russia.”During the last downturn in the 1980s we had all our eggs in one basket, the US, but this time India, Brazil, Russia and a few other countries are helping us to fight the downturn much better,” the company’s vice president of international sales Sean McGeough told IANS.

Outside the US, India is the company’s second largest market after Brazil, McGeough said.

“We are selling about 10-12 aircraft a year in India while we sell about 30 in Brazil,” he said. “Today 64 percent of business aircraft in India are our products.”

“We expect the Indian market to grow on a steady basis as more and more Indian companies are looking at using aircraft as a business tool,” the company’s vice president of new business development, Ted Farid, told IANS.

Recently, the company signed a 10-aircraft deal with Indian property developer and investment company, ISIS Group.

The company has tied up with Delhi-based InterGlobe General Aviation, the promoters of private Indian low cost carrier IndiGo Airlines.

Earlier this year, Hawker and InterGlobe set up a service centre at the Indira Gandhi International airport in Delhi. Hawker has also appointed a technical representative to ensure the best possible service, McGeough said.

“We are going to invest more together with our partners to make this service centre as good as centres we have in the US or Europe,” he said.

While the ISIS deal was for its 400XP jets, Farid said the company’s new King Air series turboprop lineup and the Premier II light jets to be launched soon were ideal for the Indian market as they can operate from short and under-prepared runways.

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