In India, the battle is for the next best car but for China and Japan, the battle is for the skies. Both the countries are getting ready with their own jet planes, vying to shake up the world of Boambardier, Ambraer, Airbus and the likes.
Japan’s Mitsubishi has been developing a small passenger jet flier, 60-75 seat carrier since 2008. It is said that it almost ready for take off but the launch keeps on getting postponed and now it is scheduled for some time next year. The company has already set up its office in Amsterdam and hopes to get a large share of the European pie.
Another Japanese company, Honda Aircraft has already launched its business jet which can seat 6 passengers. This carrier is said to already have an order for 100 planes.
China has also been working on making its own carrier and its first regional jet, Comac’s ARJ21-700,was delivered in Nov 2015 to Chengdu Airlines and since then, it has been getting many more orders, delivering successfully.
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? 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, flying in an aircraft was invented by sage Maharishi Bharadwaj and there is mention of flying in Ramayana and Mahabharata.. 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….