Hyderabad: Wings India, the new avatar of erstwhile India Aviation, has a lukewarm start on Thursday, with almost no major attractions to offer. Unlike the last four editions of the aero show, this edition has showcased only smaller aircraft, with seating capacity ranging between two and 19.
The aircraft which are put on display are Dassault Aviation’s Falcon 8x 16 seater, Gulfstream’s 19 seater, Embraer’s 12 seater and six-seater, Hondajet’s six seater, Dornier GmbH RUAG’s 19 seater, and HAL’s Dhruv helicopter. None of the airlines except Air India exhibited their planes.
As the aircraft showcased by manufacturers and operators did not cross double-digit figure, the number was incre-ased by having aircraft from aviation academies, governments or privately owned jets.
These include two-seater of Rajiv Gandhi Aviation Academy, GVK Aviation’s eight seater Dassault Falcon 2000 DX, Government Aviation Tr-aining Institute’s Cessna Skylane three-seater, Telangana government’s two seater and two-seater Pipistrel Sinus 912 from an unidentified operator.
According to one of the participants, there was no clarity on the schedule by the organisers, hinting at lackadaisical appr-oach to the biennial event that was started in 2010.
Speculation is rife that the government wants to merge the civilian variant with Bengaluru’s defence aero expo. With major aviation players opting for just namesake presence, governments and governm-ent bodies appear to have bankrolled the event.
Out of 10 chalets, only five belong private sector players and the remaining are of various government bodies. Out of around 20 major stalls, nine are by PSUs or governments.
Activity at the show too appears to have been on the wane. Though the organisers would release data on footfall on the closing day, the general impression suggests it to be lower than the previous 2016 edition.