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Demand for choppers soars, Bell gears up

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 13, 2012
First Published: 21:39 IST(13/4/2012) | Last Updated: 02:24 IST(14/4/2012)

Bell Helicopter, a subsidiary of Textron Inc, the Texas-based aviation giant known for brands such as Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming — opened its new office in Delhi on Thursday.


The company has been present in India for nearly 20 years, and opened a liaison office way back in 1995, the new office, situated at The Grand hotel in Vasant Kunj, will be its first full-fledged “operations office” in India that will also function as a programming office for Bell engineers.

“Bell Helicopter is investing in India. We believe there are tremendous growth opportunities in terms of sales and manufacturing,” said John L Garrison, president and CEO, Bell Helicopter. “This is an important day for Bell Helicopter as we celebrate our continued commitment and partnership with our customers in India.”

The office inauguration was attended by Shyam Bhartia, chairman, Jubilant Enpro, Bell Helicopter’s independent representative in India for 16 years.

Bell sold its first helicopter in India in 1956, and is the leader with a market share of 42%. It employs 80 Indian engineers and plans to double that number this year. “We are very pleased to be in India,” Garrison said. “There are 107 Bell aircraft operating in India right now. I think India going to grow dramatically.”

He said he was optimistic of achieving double-digit growth in India in the next five years. “As one of the world’s fastest growing economies, India presents many opportunities for a vertical lift,” he said. “For example, helicopters are required for offshore oil field operations, power line washing and other important missions. More importantly, helicopter emergency medical services operations can save lives.

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