The rapidly-expanding ranks of the wealthy in China and India will create a major upsurge in demand for general aviation (GA) products in the near future, believes the president of Raytheon International.
Torkel Patterson, speaking at the show yesterday, said that with China now the world’s manufacturing hub and India generating wealth through its growing expertise in fields such as computing, the conditions are ripe for aircraft sales to take off.
“I think we’re going to see a boom in GA worldwide in the next five years as we have rich Indians, Chinese and Russians starting to look at the GA market. We’ve done very well in India this year in GA sales so I’m very bullish on Raytheon Aircraft internationally over the next five years.
“These countries have underdeveloped transportation networks. Yes, there will be commercial aviation expansion, but you will have 2-300 million rich people. There are already more dollar billionaires in India and China than in the USA; you are bringing a consuming class equal to the US or Europe into an environment that’s begging for transportation solutions.”
Additionally, if the world starts to see a growing incidence of pandemics such as bird flu or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), wealthy people wanting to move to safer areas will not want to travel on commercial aviation flights, he believes.

Source: Flight Daily News