4th Annual Aerospace Summit held virtually by Kuehne+Nagel

Logistics major Kuehne Nagel on 26th November 2021 hosted its 4th Annual Aerospace Summit- ‘Thrust by Trust’. The virtual event witnessed various stakeholders sharing the stage and contemplating on when will Aerospace reach its full thrust. The iconic event witnessed doyens of the industry come together and share the stage to deliberate and discuss the way forward for the MRO and Aerospace industry.

Anish Kumar Jha, country head air freight, Kuehne Nagel in his opening remark and welcome note while expressing his gratitude to the industry stakeholders threw some light on the Indian aviation industry and its recovery amid the pandemic.

He said, “Indian aviation industry has become 3rd largest domestic market in the world with robust growth and it contributed significantly to the economic development of the country. India’s aviation has overcome various challenges t become the world’s most lucrative market and today handle the 3rd largest domestic traffic after US and China. As per the recent press release from the ministry, the overall freight handled by the country airport during the two-quarters of FY2022 a combined has been almost 80% of the pre-covid level at almost 1.5million tonnes in Apr-Sep despite the country had witnessed a strong second wave.”

The fast pace vaccination and robust demand for domestic air travel are driving fast-paced recovery and we can see that as we near pre-covid level quickly, Jha added

Eric Goedhart, Senior VP & global head-aerospace, Kuehne Nagel while delivering the keynote address says, “The theme is full thrust, but it is not only about bringing the thrust back into the industry but also about a new way of working to cope with new challenges.”

While talking about the industry challenges faced at present and the ones which are yet to come, he asks the industry to make sure to be better prepared for anything next than we did for the pandemic.

Concluding his address, he focuses on collaboration and talks about when will the trust be back “It will take years. Narrow-body 2023, wide-body 2024-26, new landscape cargo will grow. We need to talk about managing together the circle of life with aircraft, we need to look at how dots can be connected in new ways of working and to reach full thrust, we have learned the only constant in life is changing so we need to mitigate risks together and make new things happen,” he informed.  

Arun Kashyap, chief program & transformation officer, SpiceJet spoke on how SpiceJet capitalized on the adversity of the pandemic and expanded its operations he said, “The pandemic was a game-changer for us. During the pandemic, we needed to support the country’s requirement of logistics. So, we came up with an innovation called Cargo-on-seat, which was followed by the world. The adversity became an opportunity for us and we are expanding upon that. We are now flying 19 aircraft in cargo. Looking at the industry currently, we need to be organized and need to support India as a hub for domestic as well as international cargo.”

As the panel acknowledged the industry and stakeholders for coming together to help navigate through the black swan event, Bharat Malkani, Chairman, Max Aerospace speaks on the efforts made by the ministry in creating the opportunity in the MRO Industry. “The best thing that could have happened to the Indian MRO Industry was the COVID Pandemic. for an industry which was suffering a lot due to hostile tax laws we had an extremely proactive govt led by MoCA who took our tax rates from 18% to 5%, therefore bringing us at power with all the imports. This 5% although local was much easier to set off than IGST so effectively the MRO industry came at a 0-tax rate for B2B. B2C tax eventually has to be paid. Subsequently, the ministry reduced the airport royalty also to 0. DGCA took a flexible view without compromising quality or standard.”

“As we go forward with the certain regulatory issue and strategic issues still to be solved India is becoming a net exporter of MRO very shortly,” he added. 

Speaking at the event, Ashwin Noronha, VP and head-business strategy & development, Zurich Airport, said, “We are a part of the transformation at the time. Growth, scale, and synergy- putting these three things together and I think you have got the magic formula that will bring logistics to the forefront of this country thereby making us a winning proposition of the world.”

Eamonn Cronin, CCO, Acumen Aviation, while speaking on the aircraft leasing sector in the Indian aviation sector, said, “There are 800-900 aircraft in India and that has to be financed, and one important element to that is aircraft leasing. I think it’s time from an Indian government perspective to introduce operating leasing, to give the environment.”

It’s extremely important from an operating leasing perspective that the structure and environment are there to support them, he explains, by adding that we can see the initiative from the Indian government, there is certainly work to do, it’s a gradual process but we can see that they are getting there.  

Ashwini Bhargava, director-supplier management, Boeing India International, says, “Boeing has turned over the last few years and if we map other global OEMs in the country in most of the cases they are approaching on what Boeing has already done. We have invested in suppliers for 5-6 yrs and that becomes an opportunity for other Oem’s as well.”

The event was moderated to perfection by Rohit Tomar, managing partner, Caladrius Aero Consulting LLP. The event was concluded by Coen Van Der Maarel, the MD of K+N India, Sri Lanka & Maldives as he brought down the curtains with his closing remarks and a formal thank you note.

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