In India, the battle is for the next best car but for China and Japan, the battle is for the skies. Both the countries have launched jet planes, vying to shake up the world of Boambardier, Ambraer, Airbus and the likes.
Japan’s Mitsubishi was developing a small passenger jet flier, 60-75 seat carrier since 2008 and it was only last year that it took off commercially. The company has already set up its office in Amsterdam and hopes to get a large share of the European pie. But within few months of the launch, in Jan’18, it received its first order cancellation from Eastern Air Lines of the United States. It has received orders for 447 MRJs from domestic and foreign airlines. And its main problem is that the delays for delivery are only getting longer.
Another Japanese company, Honda Aircraft also started its business jet which can seat 6 passengers and even before it began operations, it had an order for 100 planes.
China has also been working on making its own carrier and its first regional jet, Comac’s ARJ21-700, received an airworthiness certificate in December and was delivered to Chengdu Airlines by the end 2015.
And in the midst of all this, what do we have? Air India fighting for survival while Jet, Spice, Indigo and GoAir vying for more passengers. But we import all our planes. Why not a manufacturing facility for airplanes, with an aim for exports? If India takes credit of being the first in the world to have invented the airplane, quoting our ancient texts, it is said that some 7000 years ago, there is mention of this being invented by the Hindu sage Maharishi Bharadwaj. Well, the joke going around, “Ancient India sure had planes. Infact some of them are still flying...called Air India.” That’s all we have….