SP Guide Publications puts forth a well compiled articulation of issues, pursuits and accomplishments of the Indian Army, over the years

— General Manoj Pande, Indian Army Chief

I am confident that SP Guide Publications would continue to inform, inspire and influence.

— Admiral R. Hari Kumar, Indian Navy Chief

My compliments to SP Guide Publications for informative and credible reportage on contemporary aerospace issues over the past six decades.

— Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari, Indian Air Force Chief

Scripting the Indian Aviation Story

Connecting India to the world in Amrit Kaal and setting the stage for India Civil Aviation @2047

Issue: 02-2024By Ayushee ChaudharyPhoto(s): By FICCI, airindia / X, FICCI, WingsIndia2024 / X, SP Guide Pubns, MEHAIR, CFM

In a four-day event held at Hyderabad’s Begumpet Airport, the biennial Wings India 2024, encompassing Commercial, General, and Business Aviation, unfolded its wings under the inauguration of Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, the Minister of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Government of India (GoI). The event, organised by MoCA, in collaboration with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), carried the theme “Connecting India to the World in Amrit Kaal: Setting the Stage for India Civil Aviation @2047. “Uniting business leaders and policymakers, the primary objective of the event was to highlight India’s prowess in the aviation sector and its emergence as the world’s thirdlargest civil aviation market.

The grand inauguration marked the commencement of a series of activities, including a global ministerial conference, a CEOs’ forum, B2B/B2G meetings, an awards ceremony, cultural evening, and a business networking dinner. Capturing the diverse aspects of India’s civil aviation sector, from policy discussions and technological innovations to ambitious growth plans and global partnerships. The event stood as a testament to India’s commitment to becoming a global aviation hub.

In his inaugural address, the Minister emphasised the philosophy of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbkum,” underlining civil aviation’s role in connecting the world as one family. Highlighting India’s aviation growth, he stated that the country, despite substantial progress, remains a highly under-penetrated market, with ambitious plans to reach 635 million domestic passengers by FY 2030.

At the Wings India Awards 2024, various awards were given. For instance, joint honors were bestowed upon the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru and the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi as the ‘Best Airport of the Year.’ The award ceremony brought together luminaries from the aviation sector. Spanning various categories, the awards recognised excellence in traffic handling, innovation, sustainability, and more. Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport was additionally honored with the ‘25 MPPA Traffic Award’ for handling over 25 million passengers annually. Air India received the ‘Best Airline for International Connectivity’ while Vman was honored with the ‘Best Leasing Company’ award among other awards at Wings India 2024.


Wings India 2024 truly embodied its theme, “Connecting India to the World in Amrit Kaal: Setting the Stage for Indian Civil Aviation @2047.” The airshow held at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad showcased a mesmerising array of aerial displays, with jets and helicopters painting captivating spirals across the sky, captivating the large audience in attendance.


The spotlight of the event shone brightly on the Global Stars and Sarang. The British aerobatic champions, the Global Stars dazzled spectators with their breathtaking maneuvers. Additionally, the Indian Air Force’s Sarang Helicopter team added to the spectacle with their awe-inspiring performances.

Adding to the spectacle, a Drone Show was organised after the main event, providing not only a visual feast but also narrating the story of aviation’s evolution, captivating audiences with its innovative displays.


Minister Scindia also unveiled India’s first ‘Airbus A350’ aircraft on the first day of Wings India 2024. The arrival of this state-of-the-art aircraft not only bolstered Air India’s fleet but also symbolised India’s growing stature as a global player in the aviation industry. The coming of the A350 coincides with a period of rapid growth and transformation for Air India. The airline is undergoing a comprehensive transformation aimed at renewing its fleet, expanding its global route network.

“Even if, as per projections, the number of domestic passengers reaches 635 million by FY 2030, India will still be one of the least penetrated of the 20 largest markets,” Scindia said

Alongside Airbus A350-900, another centre of attraction at Wings India 2024 was Boeing’s newest widebody aircraft, the Boeing 777X that made its debut in India. Around 20+ aircraft were on static display at the four-day aviation conclave and exhibition. On the sidelines of Wings India 2024, Maillard said Airbus will double its sourcing from India to $1.5 billion by the end of the decade from the existing $750 million. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) also showcased its indigenous civil platforms, Hindustan-228 aircraft and ALH Dhruv upgraded civil helicopter.


Wings India 2024 served not only as a showcase for the latest developments in the aviation industry especially that of India but also as a catalyst for shaping its trajectory in the coming years through the many deals, discussions, and interactions that took place through the show. Here’s a look back at some of the major ones.


Major announcements made at Wings India 2024:

  • Release of the joint knowledge paper on civil aviation by FICCI and KPMG
  • Launch of UDAN 5.3
  • Launch of the Airbus-Air India Training Centre, with the purchase of more airplanes and the setting of a flight training center in Gurugram with 10 flight simulators and 10,000 pilots being trained in the coming years
  • GMR and IndiGo also signed a consortium to collaborate with multiple patterns in developing sustainable training in the aerospace industry
  • Deal announcement of Akasa Air with a triple order of 200 aircrafts in a period of 17 months
  • Domestic passenger traffic will reach 300 million by 2030, says Jyotiraditya Scindia
  • Airbus delivers on ‘Skill India’, forms a JV with Air India to launch a pilot training centre, and partners with GMR to train maintenance crew.
  • GMR Aero Technic, the MRO division of GMR Air Cargo and Aerospace Engineering Ltd (GACAEL) launched GMR Aviation School in collaboration with Airbus.
  • TASL and Mahindra Aerospace secure additional manufacturing deals from Airbus
  • Airbus to double procurement from India to $1.5 billion from current $750 million, according to Remi Maillard, President & MD, Airbus India.


Akasa Air, boasting to be India’s fastestgrowing airline, placed a firm order for 150 fuel-efficient Boeing 737 MAX aircraft at WINGS India 2024. The order includes 737 MAX 10 and 737 MAX 8-200 jets, ensuring a steady delivery stream until 2032 and supporting the airline’s expansion plans. With this announcement, Akasa Air became the first Indian airline to exceed 200 aircraft orders within 17 months of operation, demonstrating strong financial standing and Boeing’s confidence. The airline initially ordered 72 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in 2021 and added 4 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in June 2023, bringing the total order to 226 aircraft. Akasa Air currently operates 22 aircraft and expects to receive 204 aircraft deliveries over eight years.

Akasa Air also inked a strategic partnership with the upcoming Noida International Airport in Uttar Pradesh, making it the second airline to align with the ambitious project. The announcement follows IndiGo’s pioneering collaboration with the greenfield airport, marking a crucial step toward enhancing air connectivity in the Delhi-NCR region and western Uttar Pradesh. The partnership agreement between Akasa Air and Noida International Airport was formalised during the ‘Wings 2024’ industry event in Hyderabad. According to a statement released by the airport, Akasa Air will station aircraft at the facility to facilitate both domestic and international flights.

Uniting business leaders and policymakers, the primary objective of the event was to highlight India’s prowess in the aviation sector and its emergence as the world’s third-largest civil aviation market

A Bengaluru-based engineering company unveiled India’s first-ever aircraft passenger seat at Wings India 2024, marking a significant step in aircraft design and innovation.

Maritime Energy Heli Air Services Pvt Ltd (MEHAIR) announced a conditional order for 20 ZeroAvia ZA600 hydrogen-electric engines at Wings India 2024. This strategic move aligns with India’s vision for clean flights and involves retrofitting Cessna Aircraft Company Caravan to embrace clean energy. ZeroAvia, working on global certification, collaborates with MEHAIR for fuel supply.

GMR Aero Technic (GAT), MRO division of GMR Air Cargo and Aerospace Engineering Ltd (GACAEL) announced partnerships with Lufthansa Technik AG (LHT) and Spirit Aero System at the Wings India 2024 in Hyderabad. A MoU was signed between GAT and LHT mutually agreeing to bring the innovative technology utilised by LHT’s Cyclean jointly at Indian airports for the operators in the region.

Minister Scindia engaged in comprehensive discussions with global CEOs during a roundtable session. Joined by General (Dr) V.K. Singh (Retd), Minister of State, Ministry of Civil Aviation & Minister of State, Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways, Government of India, the ‘Global CEOs Forum’ offered insights into sustainability, efficiency, technology, and more. A panel focused on Sustainable Aviation, explored the transformative power of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) in navigating towards greener skies.

‘Women in Aviation’ was a powerful session where stories of progress, potential, and empowerment took center stage. The speakers shared their journey and insights on how women are carving their path, seeking specific training, and influencing organisational dynamics despite facing challenges.

A roundtable on Skill Development, Startups & FTO delved into efforts by the Government of India to foster talent in the aviation sector. Speakers highlighted initiatives starting from school days, emphasising the fusion of productivity and knowledge transfer. The discussion underlined the glamorisation of the aviation sector as a key driver in attracting and cultivating talent for future innovation and growth.

A panel discussion on Travel and Tourism unveiled India’s ambitious aim for a $3 trillion tourism market by 2047, contributing 6 per cent to GDP. The discussion highlighted the role of digitalisation in easing travel for foreign tourists and the expansion of Ayodhya to feature 8-9 properties, emphasising the pivotal role of green destinations. Another panel discussion chaired by Piyush Srivastava explored the immense potential of the Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) sector in India and globally. The discussion showcased the sector’s readiness to face challenges, regulatory excellence, efficient management of airport rentals, and collaborative policies shaping a robust future.

A roundtable on “Driving Investments & Financing for Multimodal Connectivity” in Airports of the Future highlighted airports as successful Public-Private Enterprises (PPEs) and the aviation sector as highly impactful. While airports evolve into dynamic centers of economic activity, challenges persist in their expansion to contend with increased accessibility and ridership.

In a high-energy roundtable, global delegates hailed India as the hottest and fastest-growing aviation market. The discussion focused on the colossal ecosystem of the industry, highlighting the vital mix of fleet, network, product, and connectivity. Against the backdrop of India’s aviation surge, the sector propels forward, ensuring an exciting future.

A riveting roundtable unfolded as industry leaders and experts took the stage, and delved into economic transformation, regional advancement, and the surge in demand for business aviation and small aircraft. Insights unveiled innovative business models, discussed regional impacts, and highlighted the skyrocketing demand for aviation solutions.



In conjunction with the state visit of the French President Emmanuel Macron to India, Akasa Air and CFM International announced an agreement to purchase CFM LEAP-1B engines to power 150 Boeing 737 MAX airplanes, the sale of which was announced earlier. The agreement also includes spare engines and a services contract.

The Mumbai-based operator launched its operations in August 2022 and had previously ordered a total of 76 LEAP-1B- powered 737-8 aircraft, of which 22 are currently in service.

“This significant, long-term agreement is testament to the confidence that CFM International has in Akasa Air. Continuing to partner with CFM as our engine maintenance provider not only reaffirms our focus on operational reliability but equally underscores Akasa Air’s relentless pursuit of world class safety” said Vinay Dube, Founder and CEO of Akasa Air.

“With CFM as our long-term engine maintenance provider, we remain confident in our path to becoming one of the top 30 leading airlines in the world, by the turn of this decade”, he added.

This new order grows CFM’s footprint in India, with more than 400 CFM-powered aircraft in service and 2,500 LEAP engines in the backlog. Both CFM’s parent companies GE Aerospace and Safran Aircraft Engines have also significantly invested in India to build state-of-the-art facilities dedicated to LEAP production and maintenance, while signing strategic partnerships with Indian aerospace companies as part of the “Make in India” policy.

“Our customers, including Akasa, are seeing 15 to 20 per cent better fuel efficiency with their LEAP-powered fleets and it has the highest reliability and daily utilisation rates in this thrust class,” said Gaël Méheust, President & CEO of CFM International. “Today’s order will continue to bring these benefits to Akasa and support their continued growth, as well as play an important role in India’s economic development.”

The LEAP engine family has the fastest accumulation of flight hours in commercial aviation history, amassing more than 45 million engine flight hours and 18.7 million flight cycles. Since entering service in 2016, the LEAP engine has helped operators save more than 30 million tons of CO2 compared to the same flights with previous generation engines.