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Wichita planemakers market products at India air show

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, at 11:47 p.m.

Wichita planemakers are showcasing aircraft in India this week at the Aero India biennial aerospace show, which started Wednesday and runs through Sunday at Yelahanka Air Force Station in Bengaluru, India.

Hawker Beechcraft is displaying its Beechcraft King Air 350i turboprop, while Cessna Aircraft is showcasing its Caravan turboprop and Citation jets.

“India is expected to be amongst the world’s fastest growing economies in 2013 and stands to benefit hugely from a national expansion of business aviation, both for domestic and international travel,” Bill Harris, Cessna vice president of sales in Asia and the Asia Pacific, said in a statement. “Cessna is optimistic that legislative and regulatory reforms this year will remove several barriers to India’s aircraft market development.”

One of India’s pressing needs is to improve its intra-state air links, Harris said.

Todd Hattaway, Hawker Beechcraft director of sales in India, said the company sees a growing demand for its aircraft used in special mission applications throughout the country.

More than 20 King Airs are registered to state or federal government organizations in India, the company said. The majority provide VIP transportation for interstate and cross-country travel.

Hawker Beechcraft said 82 percent of new turboprop business aircraft delivered in India from 2002 to 2011 were King Air products, and 83 percent of the total fleet of registered business turboprops in the country are King Airs.

Bombardier Aerospace is also in India with its Challenger 605 and Global 6000 jets.

The event is the ninth Aero India show. In 2011, it attracted exhibitors from 29 countries, 675 companies and 47 overseas delegations.

“A rapidly growing economy, defense preparedness challenges and opening up of defense production to private sector, have given a major (boost) to the defense industry in India,” organizers said on a website about the show. “… It has also become a hub center for defense business in the Asia region.”

Reach Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or mmcmillin@wichitaeagle.com.

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