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Airbus plans to invest $1 bn in India

It will set up an engineering facility and a pilot training school among other things, reports Gaurav Choudhury.

india Updated: Dec 07, 2006 21:13 IST

Aircraft maker Airbus Industrie, part of Europe's EADS group, said on Thursday that it would invest up to $1 billion in India in various areas, including aero-structure design, engineering, research and technology, over the next ten years.

The plan includes the setting up of a training centre for crew involving an investment of $300 million, an aero-structure design and building centre ($300 million), an information system and technical publication centre ($150 million), an engineering centre with focus on analysis and design ($250 million), and a research and technology centre to initiate projects with universities and research laboratories ($5 million).

Airbus India's president Dr Kiran Rao said the company will also set up a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) centre and an India spare-parts centre in the coming years. He said the company was in talks with various partners, including two Indian firms, for the MRO facility.

"Airbus intends to further strengthen industrial cooperation with India from today's component and sub-assembly manufacturing and engineering services to potential risk-sharing partnerships on new aircraft programmes," Rao said.

Rao said the company had already initiated discussions with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to extend the scope of its cooperation from a sub-contract arrangement to that of being a partner.

Airbus is also planning to have an exclusive design centre in Bangalore, where it plans to undertake design analysis, systems avionics and other information technology-related works.

"This will be 100 per cent Airbus owned," Rao said, adding the company was looking to utilise the services of Indian IT companies.

Airbus has forecast that between 2006 and 2025, Indian carriers will require 1,100 passenger and freight aircraft valued at $105 billion. Of these, 935 will be passenger aircraft, while the remaining 165 will be freighters.

Airbus Global Market Forecast has predicted that India will clock an annual passenger traffic growth of 7.7 per cent until 2025, well above the world average of 4.8 per cent and that of China at 7.2 per cent.

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First Published: Dec 07, 2006 15:19 IST