Wings India 2022: Repairing and Renewing the Aviation Industry

As the nation gears up to host global participants for the event, Wings India 2022 comes with a sense of hope to recommence things towards the better

Show: Wings India 2022 - Day 1 By Ayushee Chaudhary
After being in doldrums for over 2 years, Indian Aviation seems to be back on track in 2022, on road to becoming the third largest air passenger market by 2030

Amid clouds of the first variant of the novel coronavirus in March 2020, India hosted participants from across the globe for Wings India. Among Asia’s largest civil aviation show, Wings India 2020 did experience a deduction in number as the virus had taken over in some parts of the world by then and entered India as well. The event remained close for the public and yet noted a footfall of over 9,000 with 450 plus exhibitors, more than 3,000 visitors and about 485 B2B/B2G meetings. Despite early speculations around the virus and concerned spirits, the previous showhad drawn focus on the long-term goals. At that time, no one anticipated that the virus will rise to become a pandemic, gripping the entire world, claiming lakhs of lives, mutating into multiple variants; clutching industries; changing behaviors of people and just the way things happened. Two years down that, Wings India 2022 is back with its new edition in the new normal of the “After Disease” world.

As the nation gears up to host global participants for the event, Wings India 2022 comes with a sense of hope to repair and renew things towards the better. The Ukraine-Russia crisis has yet again intensified the clouds of uncertainty but never the less, Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) is all set to jointly organise WINGS INDIA 2022 - “Asia’s largest event on Civil Aviation (Commercial, General and Business Aviation)”. With the focuson new business acquisition, investments, policy formation and regional connectivity, the event aims to provide a congenial forum catering to the rapidly changing dynamics of the sector.

During these two years, a lot has transitioned through the industry. The virus gripped the industry by ceasing operations, jolting the airlines and manufacturers with severe losses, changed logistics in travel, new rules to travel, increase in regional domestic aviation, new airlines entering the Indian market, etc. In line with that, the organisers believe that the event will provide a much-desired fillip to the aviation and restructured focused forums shall be instrumental in attaining the objective of connecting the buyers, sellers, investors, and other stakeholders at a common vantage forum. Wings India 2022, the fifth edition of the event, is scheduled to be held from March 24-27, 2022, Begumpet Airport, Hyderabad, India. Hyderabad is emerging as the nation’s aviation hub and hence remains a preferred destination for the event.

Wings India 2022 aims to bring all major stakeholders in the Indian Aviation sector on a common platform for the growth of the industry.

The Wings India, 2022 aims to bring the key stakeholders of global aviation market, states governments, international regulators, and business associations together as a group representing airlines, in order to facilitate direct interaction with airport operators, various airlines, cargo operators and other players on a common platform.

This year also marks 75 years of India’s independence and the nation is celebrating Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav to illustrate the significant milestone. In alignment with that, the curtain-raiser for WINGS INDIA 2022 last year revealed the theme for the event as, “India @75 New Horizon for Aviation Industry”.

With a market size of $16 billion in July 2021, India is the tenth-largest civilian aviation market, stated the Indian Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) in a report. A Morgan Stanley research report for the same month anticipated that the Indian aviation industry could recover to 80 per cent of the pre-COVID levels (as of 2020). Sometime back, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) had shared that India is expected to overtake China and the United States as the world’s third-largest air passenger market in the next ten years, by 2030.

The growth of the sector will add new dimensions to travel, enhance the economy and also create millions of jobs in that journey. With that in mind, the Civil Aviation Minister of India, Jyotiraditya Scindia sees the event as a huge opportunity for the nation as well its neighbouring countries. The Minister also added that WINGS India 2022 will provide an opportunity to build strong roots of the ecosystem that the civil aviation industry represents. Speaking on the government initiatives and emphasising the government policies, the Minister also underlined the need for collaboration.

Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation said, “This is a unique platform for civil aviation in India, we intend to ensure that all our stakeholders come under a single umbrella, showcase the achievements of the sector, and share the good practices with equal contribution from all. The civil aviation sector is becoming a development engine for the nation.”

Given that India has the largest number of unicorns and start-ups and the aviation sector’s surge, there is a huge opportunity for each one connected to the aviation industry, affirmed General (Dr) V.K. Singh (Retd), MoS for Civil Aviation and Road Transport and Highways, Government of India (GoI). “One can manufacture, sell, lease and create to become partners in infrastructure with us,” he added.

Scindia further said that the civil aviation industry is not only about airplanes and airports, but we must focus on building an airline ecosystem that has strong roots across the value chain. “Manufacturing is the core of the sector and the country must move from products to services. Both product and service will result in economic and employment multipliers. Every direct job generated by civil aviation industry results in 6.1 per cent indirect employment opportunities. This potential cannot be replicated by any other sector,” he said.

He urged the industry to join the Wings India 2022 to be part of the expanding horizon of the Indian aviation sector, which can be the key driver towards economic growth. The Minister strengthened this by adding, “We have doubled the number of airports in India since the last seven years and the horizontal expansion will result in vertical depth. The new helicopter policy, MRO policy, flying training organisation policy are focused on the spur of growth in the country.” General V.K. Singh also suggested the need to bring down the VAT on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) and ensure more flights come in as that can generate tremendous revenue.

For Wings India 2022, until the day of the meeting 125 international and domestic exhibitors have confirmed the participation along with 11 hospitality chalets, more than 15 country delegations and over 25 States & UT’s, FICCI informed in a statement. It also added, “Participation of Global Ministers and Industry captains at the Global Aviation Summit reckons the exciting proposition the event hold.”

More than 200 exhibitors; 6,000 trade visitors; 50,00 general visitors; aircraft participation; 200+ international companies, Wings India 2022 promises to be a great chance to discover, network, collaborate and showcase all the various aspects of the aviation industry. Recently, global manufacturer, Airbus released that it will put its wide-bodied A350 aircraft on static display at the Wings India airshow and a scale model of its single-aisle A220 aircraft. For the airshow, India’s helicopter team Sarang’s performance is much awaited.

There might be some differences in the way the show is conducted with uncertainty still around the corner but the spirits of the organisers and the hosts aren’t dampened to have the entire aviation industry come together after a roller coaster ride of two years with the pandemic.