Mumbai-based chartered airlines Invision Air is eyeing setting up operation bases at Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Jaipur, said company Vinit Phatak. It is also planning to add 10 jet aircraft by 2014.
The company has two four-seater Embraer Phenom 100 jets and operates from Mumbai, Delhi and Nashik. “We need at least six clients in a city to set up a base, otherwise it is not feasible,” Phatak told ET in Ahmedabad on Thursday.
He hopes to add 5-6 corporate clients from Ahmedabad. At present the company has only one client in Ahmedabad. “A lot of demand is coming up for last mile air connectivity from corporates, who want its managers to visit its facilities in remotest areas. Companies provide this service to their lawyers as well,” he said.
Regular commercial aircraft cannot land and take off from smaller run-ways. Four seater aircraft like Phenom 100 can operate from about 200 air-strips across the country. Smaller jets operated by companies providing chartered service need over 350 hours of flying for commercial flying to be financially feasible.
According to Phatak, India has 130 operators providing with close to 480 aircraft, of which close to 136 are jet aircraft and the rest are turboprops, piston engine aircraft and helicopters. The chartered air service industry of India is estimated at $250 million and has been growing at 10-12% per annum.
However, 2011-12 was an exception when it declined by about 5%. “More companies will be buying jets. Its numbers is likely to rise to 400 in few years. This will create huge demand in maintenance and servicing. We are also gearing for it,” he said.