Aviation sector in India is in a mess but that has not deterred new players from entering the field. Supreme Aviations will soon be making its presence felt through its unique business model of connecting tier 2 and tire 3 cities in India. Capt. Ammeet Agarwal, CEO and President, Supreme Aviation International, spoke to Harish Rao on various issues relating to aviation industry and his company:
Please update us on the latest developments in intra-state air connectivity in some states involving Supreme Aviation?
Supreme has developed a unique strategy of connecting tier 2 and tier 3 cities of India. Such connectivity shall form the backbone of the future of our country. After a long struggle and extinction of all possible PPP/other proposals, Supreme innovated an exceptional approach with the individual state governments. We have achieved success so far with the states of Odisha, Maharashtra and Gujarat. We are looking forward to some more.
Tell us about the total investment involved in these projects and how are you going to fund the same?
Every intra state airline Supreme sets up, requires about Rs. 40 crore worth of investment including aircrafts. We have private investors involved for respective states.
Airline companies have been complaining about lack of transparency in the pricing of the Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF). What is your opinion on this?
The synopsis itself sounds baffling – every state of India has its own rate of VAT on ATF. Such VAT should be completely abolished to support connectivity across India. Besides, Private companies should be allowed to supply ATF instead of traditional IOC, BPCL or HPCL.
Throw some light on Supreme Aviation’s initiatives abroad?
Supreme Aviation has actively proposed projects across Africa, Asia and few European countries. These include up-grading existing airports, connectivity similar to intra state airlines, etc. We have received brilliant response from countries across Africa such as Cape Verde, Namibia, Angola, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Chad, etc along with Portugal, Italy and others in Europe.
What is your vision for Supreme Aviation for the next ten years and how are you planning to achieve it?
Our vision is to ensure every common man has access to aircrafts. That can be achieved in various ways including flight training, hobby flying, affordable charter aircrafts, intra state airlines, etc. We have already initiated the first step to such important development which is upgrading the infrastructure. We intend to upgrade 2500 airstrips around Africa and Asia in next 5 years, simultaneously setting up flying clubs, intra state airlines and others. Followed by the next 5 years where people shall get used to such services – when aviation and aircrafts shall no more be a ‘luxury’ but a ‘need’ just like cars in today’s world.
What is your opinion about Indian aviation industry where many companies are bleeding red and some new players are planning to enter?
It all depends on the Strategy. Toughest challenge we all face are the regulations. Government should really focus on amending policies in-line with international standards. Such step itself shall make a lot of difference and help private players to operate green. I would never recommend any businessman or corporate to enter Aviation business, as one can always have better profit making businesses and industries. We do it out of pure passion.