• Sunday, March 26, 2023


Canada’s De Havilland eyes Indian market for small planes, considered key to connect distant corners

Representational Image (Photo by SAM PANTHAKY/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

Toronto-based De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited is aiming to capture 80 per cent of India’s small-plane market as the south Asian nation seeks to improve connectivity in distant corners and over challenging terrain, Bloomberg reported.

The company, which is a leading manufacturer of turboprop aircraft, expects India to have in the next decade 120 small planes that accommodate less than 20 passengers, Yogesh Garg, De Havilland’s Asia Pacific sales director, said in an interview on the sidelines of the Airline Economics Growth Frontiers of India conference in New Delhi on Tuesday (28), the report added.

Small aircraft are considered key for India, the world’s fastest-growing aviation market, to serve small towns, hilly locations and islands where first-time flyers are growing.

According to an estimate by Airbus SE, India will require more than 2,200 planes in another 17 years, with most of them being smaller ones, the Bloomberg report added.

However, De Havilland will also have competition from the likes of the 19-seater Dornier 228 plane and Cessna Grand Caravan EX.

India’s budget carrier SpiceJet is in talks with De Havilland for five Twin Otter seaplanes that are typically found in the Maldives carrying tourists to resorts. The company could deploy them, which accommodate 19 passengers, to connect remote parts of India that lack runways and ground transport such as the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Garg said.

SpiceJet, which is De Havilland’s top customer in India, presently operates 32 Dash-8 Q400 turboprop planes, which accommodate between 78 and 90 people, the official said, according to Bloomberg.

IndiGo, India’s biggest carrier, has 78 ATR small planes, a joint venture between Airbus SE and Leonardo SpA of Italy.

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