New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport became the first airport in the country to open a terminal for private jets. The terminal was inaugurated on Thursday by Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, the Union Minister of Civil Aviation. It will be in operation on Sunday.
The new terminal is spread over an area of 100,000 square feet. It will have 57 parking bases and will be able to handle movements of 150 jets every day. The terminal will also feature a 24/7 open lounge for people flying in on chartered flights. The project was first planned in the year 2009.
India currently has the world’s fastest-growing ultra-rich population. Which of course indicates that as a social marker, chartered jets and similar are growing markets in India.
This new terminal had long been the demand of Indian millionaires and billionaires who apparently want a network of airports just for private jets. In the past five years, the number of ultra-rich people in India have grown by a tremendous 125 percent. According to several economists, the number will further increase by more than 40% in the coming three to four years.
This terminal in the IGI airport will thus help in the faster and easier movement of chartered aircraft and business jets. It will be able to handle more than 50 passengers per hour. In total there are officially around 150 private jets in India. However, according to Bombardier Inc., this number is expected to rise by more than 900 percent by 2023.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, people who can afford the extreme luxury will always prefer a private jet over a commercial passenger plane all the time.
Additionally, these jets can also travel to remote areas and can be used as air-ambulances in times of emergency. Because of the expansion of India’s private jet fleet, many businessmen from around the globe can be lured to come into India for investment or for trade relations. This will make the country investor-friendly as well.
Shri Puri said in an interview, “India’s civil aviation sector is all set to emerge stronger in a post-Covid world as more routes are opening up and the number of passengers is growing. We expect a bulk of pre-Covid domestic air passengers’ traffic to be back by Diwali. A general aviation terminal was the need of the hour.”