Wings India 2024 Takes Flight with Spectacular Air and Drone Shows in Hyderabad

By Ajit Kumar Thakur

Wings India

Hyderabad. Wings India 2024, recognised as Asia’s largest civil aviation exhibition, kicked off with grandeur at Hyderabad’s Begumpet Airport on January 18. The event was inaugurated by Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia, Minister of State for Civil Aviation General V.K. Singh, and Telangana Minister for Roads, Buildings, and Cinematography Komatireddy Venkat Reddy. Representatives from the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) also graced the occasion.

The primary objective of Wings India 2024 is to showcase India’s prowess in the aviation sector and highlight its position as the third-largest civil aviation market globally. The event has garnered attention not only from the aviation community within India but also attracted enthusiasts and professionals globally. The first day of the expo witnessed the convergence of business professionals and aviation enthusiasts from across the country.

Aerial Extravaganza

Following the official inauguration, attendees were treated to an exploration of various aircraft on an invitation basis. Simultaneously, the business-oriented segment unfolded, accompanied by captivating aerial displays on the airport runway.

The Sarang helicopter team of the Indian Air Force (IAF) showcased precision manoeuvres, capturing the audience’s attention. The Mark Jefferies aerobatic team from the UK took centre stage with breath-taking displays featuring four airplanes.

Air India Express’ Boeing 737-8 aircraft contributed to the spectacle with remarkable low fly-bys, adding an extra layer of excitement for the crowd in attendance.

On January 19, air shows captivated audiences from 11:30 am to 12:15 pm and again from 3:30 pm to 4:15 pm, followed by a drone show around sunset. Similar timings are scheduled for January 20, with the event opening to the general public.

On the concluding day, January 21, attendees can witness a triple treat of air shows. The first show is scheduled from 11 am to 11:45 am, followed by the second show from 3.00 pm to 3:45 pm, and the grand finale taking place from 5 pm to 5:45 pm.

Innovations and Collaborations

The event serves as a highly prestigious  platform for networking, collaboration, and the exchange of ideas, contributing to India’s standing as a key player in the global aviation landscape.

GMR Aero Technic, the Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) division of GMR Air Cargo and Aerospace Engineering Ltd (GACAEL), seized the occasion to launch the GMR Aviation School in collaboration with Airbus. The school will offer integrated 4-year licensed aircraft maintenance engineering programs approved by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), addressing the shortage of skilled engineers in the industry.

GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish an industry consortium within the aviation ecosystem. This consortium aims to leverage technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, and more to enhance operational efficiency and elevate the customer experience.

Aircraft Display

Day One of Wings India 2024 showcased a total of 25 aircraft, featuring India’s first-ever Airbus A350 with the latest livery and Boeing’s B 777-9, the newest and most fuel-efficient member of Boeing’s wide-body aircraft family.

According to a Boeing representative, the B 777-9 is 20% more fuel-efficient than the B777-300ER and 10% more efficient than the A350, with an impressive 40% lower noise footprint.

Public Access and Timings

The four-day exhibition offers a diverse range of activities, including demonstration flights, static displays, media conferences, and business meetings. With the first two days (January 18 and 19) reserved for business visitors, the air show will be open to the public on January 20 and 21.

Major Deals and Announcements

The inaugural day witnessed significant deals and announcements for the aviation industry. Akasa Air, India’s youngest low-cost airline, placed an additional order for 150 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, becoming the first Indian airline to order over 200 aircraft within 17 months of operation. This order includes B737 Max 8-200 and Max 10.

Challenges and Opportunities for Akasa Air

Akasa Air, despite facing challenges such as the loss of its primary financial backer, has taken a bold step with this aircraft order. The order not only instills confidence in the market and the airline’s ecosystem but also contributes to fleet renewal efforts in India.

While both Airbus and Boeing grapple with challenges, including groundings and operational fleet issues, Akasa Air’s order marks a significant milestone for Boeing in India’s narrowbody market.

Wings India 2024 stands as a testament to India’s achievements and innovations in the aviation sector. The event not only serves as a platform for industry professionals but also captivates the imaginations of aviation enthusiasts and the general public alike. The dynamic displays, technological advancements, and strategic collaborations showcased at the exhibition contribute to India’s position as a key player in the global aviation landscape.

Major Highlights of Day 1 and 2 of Wings India 2024

Partner States: Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka, Odisha, and Tamil Nadu actively participated as partner states, showcasing their commitment to the growth and development of the aviation sector.

Airshow Spectacles:

The world-renowned Sarang Team of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Mark Jefferies aerobatic team from the UK graced the event with awe-inspiring aerial displays. Their precision manoeuvres and breath-taking performances added a touch of excellence to the airshow.

Aircraft Display: Approximately 25 aircraft, including some of the latest models and innovations, were on display during the four-day exhibition. This offered attendees a first-hand look at the cutting-edge technologies and advancements in the aviation industry.

Unveiling of Air India’s A350: One of the standout moments was the unveiling of Air India’s A350, marking the first appearance of this aircraft in India. The A350, adorned with the latest livery, captured the attention of aviation enthusiasts and professionals alike.

Debut of Boeing 777 X in India: Another highlight was the debut of Boeing 777 X in India, showcasing the aircraft for the first time in the country. The B 777-9, as part of Boeing’s wide-body aircraft family, brought its impressive features, including being 20% more fuel-efficient than its predecessor and boasting a 40% lower noise footprint.

Educational Initiatives: GMR Aero Technic’s launch of the GMR Aviation School in collaboration with Airbus stood out as a significant educational initiative. The school will provide integrated 4-year licensed aircraft maintenance engineering programs, addressing the industry’s need for skilled engineers.

Technological Advancements: GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL) signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish an industry consortium within the aviation ecosystem showcased a commitment to leveraging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, and more to enhance operational efficiency and customer experience.

Strategic Deals and Announcements: The inaugural day witnessed major deals and announcements, including Akasa Air’s order for an additional 150 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. This order not only made history as the first Indian airline to order over 200 aircraft within 17 months but also marked a significant win for Boeing in the Indian narrowbody market.

Diverse Air Show Schedule: The air shows, featuring captivating displays, were scheduled throughout the event, catering to both business visitors and the general public. From precision manoeuvres by the Sarang Team and Mark Jefferies to the debut of the Boeing 777 X, each segment added excitement and fascination.