Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Wings India 2024: Audience Enthralled with Flying Machines

By Chaitali Bag

The four-day aviation summit, Wings India 2024, drew an astounding 50,000 people on the last day. The summit, held at Hyderabad’s Begumpet airport, is known as the biggest civil aviation event in Asia. 

With crowds of 50,000 to 75,000 on the final day, it was clearly a public event. Over 15,000 people took part the day before, and over 1 lakh people from the general public visited throughout the two days.

Jyotiraditya Scindia, India’s Minister of Civil Aviation, officially kicked off the event on January 18. The first two days were off-limits to the public, while the last two were open to business visitors. The summit was a major event, marked by several important collaborations and deals. Panel talks and roundtables covered a range of aviation-related topics on the first two days as well.

To kick off the occasion, Scindia remarked, “The philosophy of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbkum” truly epitomizes the objectives of civil aviation connecting the world as one family while addressing the local aspiration of the ordinary citizens to fly.” According to the Union Minister, the aviation industry has seen phenomenal growth in emerging nations, and it is one of the main drivers of economic progress. With its many positive effects on tourism, trade, connectivity, economic growth, employment, and the ability to respond quickly to unusual events, the aviation industry is a major economic and social force. The three A’s are exemplified by India’s aviation industry: Accessibility, Availability, and Affordability.

The Wings India 2024 featured seven noteworthy announcements:

•           Publication of FICCI and KPMG’s collective expertise report on civil aviation

•           Updated UDAN 5.3 Released

•           Rollout of the Airbus-Air India Training Centre, further aircraft acquisition, and the establishment of a flight training facility in Gurugram, equipped with ten flight simulators, with the goal of teaching ten thousand pilots over the next several years

•           Manufacturer Airbus has partnered with TATA ASL and Mahindra Aerospace Structures Pvt. Ltd. to train more pilots.

•           GMR and IndiGo have joined forces in a partnership to work on aircraft sector sustainability training with several patterns.

•           Opening of GMR Aviation School

•           Announcement of a deal with Akasa Air for a three-order, 200-aircraft term spanning 17 months

In its maiden appearance at Wings India 2024, Boeing’s state-of-the-art wide-body 777-9 was the show-stopper of the aviation event. Arriving in the city only last week, it quickly became the main draw for aviation fans and enthusiasts in general. Parents brought their children to see the static display area, which included a remarkable array of commercial aeroplanes. There were many young people in the audience who were dreaming of becoming pilots one day, so the event served as a great source of motivation and excitement for them.

From startups to women in aviation, attendees of second day of Wings India 2024 heard from a variety of knowledgeable panelists and roundtable discussion participants. To help India’s travel and tourism industry flourish and thrive in the long run, experts got together for a roundtable discussion on the topic. Next steps in promoting India as a world-class tourist destination were considered during the roundtable. Several presenters highlighted how the Atal Tunnel and other environmentally conscious attractions have helped local economy.

Speakers at the “Women in Aviation” panel discussed the challenges faced by women in the aviation industry and how they overcame them to become influential in the field, including pursuing specialized training and changing the dynamics inside their organizations.

Participants in a roundtable discussion titled “Drone Technology—Flight to the Future: Drones Revolutionising the Aviation Landscape” analyzed the global impact of drones on people’s daily jobs.

Topics covered included the ways in which drones are changing farming practices for the better through facilitating new methods of agriculture and environmental responsibility.

It was on the last two days that visitors could finally peruse the exhibition, after two days devoted solely to business activity. Guests could only enter by purchasing tickets for Rs.750 each via the ‘BookMy Show’ website. Free entrance was, however, extended to youngsters younger than three.

Special arrangements were made to provide tourists an up-close experience, even though they were not allowed to board the aircraft directly. Visitors were able to view and learn from representatives of the individual organizations as barricades were built up 30 feet apart around each aircraft. Each plane had a representative there to go over its special features and technologies. At three o’clock, there was supposed to be a music festival put on by Shivamani’s group, in addition to the exhibition. Beyond just seeing the planes on display, this made the event more entertaining and gave guests something to remember it by.

The inaugural Airbus A350 flight of Air India was the show-stopper this year. Wings India 2024 featured the state-of-the-art A350 wide-body aircraft.

Air India, which has the support of the Tata Group, took delivery of the first of four hundred and seventy-five Airbus A350s in December of last year.

Once all the required tests and permits have been completed, the A350 is scheduled to begin domestic operations by the end of January. The A350 is a cutting-edge plane that has just joined Air India’s fleet, and it’s a sign of how important India is becoming as an aviation powerhouse.

One of seventy-two wide-body planes ordered, the A350-900, will give Air India a leg up in the market thanks to its 16–17 hour nonstop flying time and superior long-haul capabilities. With 25% reduced fuel consumption than its forerunners, it claims impressive fuel efficiency.

 In a record-breaking deal, Air India has ordered 470 planes from Boeing and Airbus, with deliveries spread out over the next five years.

People showed up in droves to the Wings India 2024. It was attended by a stellar array of dignitaries, including the Honourable Civil Aviation Minister of the Government of India, the Honourable Ministers of Aviation and Transport from several other nations, the Transport and Civil Aviation Ministers from many Indian states, as well as other government officials, international CEOs, and prominent businesspeople. Notable attendees included world-renowned Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), non-scheduled operators, helicopter manufacturers, MRO companies, lessors, startups, flying training organizations, and advanced air mobility companies on a global scale. Wings India 2026 promises to be much bigger and better than before.

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