John Key touches down in India after delays

(Getty)
(Getty)

Prime Minister John Key has been formally welcomed to India in a short but visually spectacular ceremony in the capital New Delhi.

The 15-minute ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the magnificent president's house, on Wednesday morning involved a mounted escort for Mr Key and him inspecting the guard in the grounds of the palace.

Mr Key, accompanied by his wife Bronagh, followed up with a short statement to media about his visit.

John Key touches down in India after delays

John Key in India (Supplied)

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered the media a quick wave alongside Mr Key before the ceremony ended.

The pair will meet later in the day, where Mr Key has said he will push for progress in a bilateral free-trade deal between the two countries.

A statement is expected following the meeting, but neither will answer questions following that.

John Key touches down in India after delays

John Key in India (Supplied)

Mr Key may elaborate at a short stand up towards the end of the afternoon.

He is leading a 35-strong trade delegation on a four-day trip to India, which has been shortened to two-and-a-half after the RNZAF 757 broke down in Townsville and a replacement had to be flown from Auckland.

Newshub Political Editor Patrick Gower told the Paul Henry show the delays are most disappointing for the range of industry representatives that were on the trip to create business connections.

He said Mr Key's trip five years ago to India opened many doors for Kiwi businesses, and that these had been shut this time by the plane delays.

John Key touches down in India after delays

John Key in India (Supplied)

Mr Key's visit will focus on business and trade with the economic giant.

NZN / Newshub.