Praful Patel to Deliver Keynote Address At India LCC Symposium

Press Release

(MUMBAI: 29 September 2005) The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation is pleased to announce that India's Minister of Civil Aviation, Praful Patel, will deliver the Keynote Address at the 2nd Annual Indian Subcontinent/Middle East Low Cost Airline Symposium in Mumbai on 6 October 2005. 

The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation's forecast last year of 25% growth in domestic air traffic in India has been validated by the developments of the last 12 months. The Centre continues to project a combined fleet size for Indian carriers of 450-500 by 2010, up from approximately 215 today. "We expect strong growth to continue for several years, driven by low cost carriers (LCCs), but expect that in 2006 the airline industry will be marked by consolidation through mergers and acquisitions," stated Kapil Kaul, the Centre's CEO Indian Subcontinent & Middle East. The Centre expects that by 2010 there will be 3-4 large LCCs operating on a national scale in India with a fleet size of 40-50 aircraft. India will also have 5-6 regional LCCs operating with a fleet size of about 15 aircraft each by 2010. "Numerous smaller entrants will come and go," added Mr. Kaul.

Mr Kaul stated that the issue of high fuel prices will be a hot topic at the Symposium. "The proportion of fuel expenses to total costs for Indian carriers is up to double the world average and we expect the LCCs to press hard for tax relief from State Governments. The Central Government is also considering allowing airlines to hedge their fuel requirements - which would be a step forward for the industry", said Mr Kaul.

"Airport infrastructure is the other burning issue for the sector. Significant investment from the government and private sector is an urgent priority to provide the requisite capacity for the almost 400 new aircraft on order by Indian carriers", said Mr Kaul.

In addition to the Minister, the Symposium has attracted many other high level speakers, including:

Ajay Prasad: Secretary Civil Aviation, India (inv)

Air Arabia: Adel Ali, CEO
Air Deccan: Captain Gopinath, Managing Director
Air India: V. Thulasidas, Chairman & Managing Director
America West Airlines: Michael Roach, Co-Founder & Former President; Partner, Roach & Sbarra Consulting
Arab Air Carriers Organisation: Abdul Wahab Teffaha, Secretary General
Boeing Commercial Airplanes: Dr. Dinesh A. Keskar, Senior VP
Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation: Peter Harbison, Chairman
Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation: Andrew Miller, CEO
Emerging Markets Partnership (Bahrain): Mumtaz Khan, Chairman & CEO
Geneva International Airport: Pierre Germain, Commercial & Finance Director
Go Air: Jeh Wadia, Managing Director
International Transport Workers' Federation: Ingo Marowsky, Aviation Secretary
Istithmar: Osman Qureshi, Senior VP, Head of Industrial Sector
Jazeera Airways: Marwan Boodai, Chairman
Jet Airways: Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, CEO
Kingfisher Airlines: Nigel Harwood, COO
Macau Eagle Aviation Services: Tom Wong, Director Corporate Development
Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad: Dato' Seri Bashir Ahmad, Managing Director
New Hyderabad International Airport: Kiran Kumar Grandhi, Managing Director
Nok Air: Patee Sarasin, CEO
Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transportation, India: Nilotpal Basu, Chairman
SpiceJet: Ajay Singh, Director
SriLankan Airlines: Peter Hill, CEO
Virgin Blue Airlines: David Huttner, former Head of Strategy
Willis Aerospace: Andre Clerc, Chairman

The accompanying exhibition has completely sold out and delegate spaces are now limited. Visit centreforaviation.com for more information.