Saturday, March 17, 2012

Hyderabad, India: Aviation 2012 not a dream show

As the five-day India Aviation-2012 opens to the public on Saturday, there is some bad news. The Boeing 787-8 Series Dreamliner made its way back to Seattle as did four others like the Falcon.

Of the 22 aircraft stationed at the Begumpet airport, the general public will get to see only 17. The five aircraft that made their way back home on Friday include the Boeing Dreamliner, Airbus ACJ 318, the corporate jet version of the A318, Bombardier’s Challenger 300, the Q400 NextGen turboprop and the Dassault Falcon. Even the Sukhoi Superjet 100 civil airliner will take off by Saturday afternoon.“I am so glad that I could get to see it today. I came in as a business visitor along with my uncle, else I would have definitely missed this chance,” said Ankitha Rao, a student from Bangalore, who came to visit the air show. Another visitor Suresh Babu, an electrical engineer, said, “this is so unfair. When so much was invested on this show and when two days were booked especially for the public, how can one send off the Dreamliner? It might be a boring show for the public tomorrow.”

Well, not just for the public but also for the participants it seems. Compared to the last edition, this air show has evoked poor response from even the business classes. Though the popular contenders expressed happiness with the “decent turnout”, new participants complained of really long and boring show. Shweta Mane and Sarla Devi, receptionists of an evidently empty stall of Powerfly, a Deccan and Taj Air Alliance who are at the expo for the first time, admitted, “we are just bored sitting here all day.” Rashmi Tandon, manager of the Rolls Royce stall, agreed, “The show this time was organised pretty well, but I would say the turnout was pretty less!”

However, officials at the Airworks Pvt. Ltd stall claimed to have received a better response. Sales manger Amar Singh said, “The crowd this time was more vibrant. Customers looked very much interested and yes, we are having a great time here.” Ramamoorthy, deputy general manager of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, too echoed the same view. “The turnout has been good this time and we have had quite a lot of enquiries,” he said.

The stores that had the maximum turnout and had really busy days were the stalls of the various pilot training institutes like the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi and the Bangalore Aeronautics Technical Services. A lot of foreign institutes like the International Aviation Academy of New Zealand, HELiPRO Aviation Training, Ardmore Flying School also said that a lot of students walked in for enquiries.

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