Airbus to set up MRO facility in India next year
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Airbus to set up MRO facility in India next year

Airbus to set up MRO facility in India to service the fleet of a large number of aircraft, both of public and private carriers, in 2007.

india Updated: May 17, 2006 17:17 IST

European consortium Airbus Industries on Wednesday announced it would start the process of setting up a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility in India next year to service the fleet of a large number of aircraft, both of public and private carriers, in the country.

"India is a booming market and it is still booming. It is growing at a rate more than China. There are big opportunities and Airbus is in the lead in India. We are not just selling aircraft but supporting our customers as well," Airbus Industrie President and CEO Gustav Humbert said at the ongoing airshow at the Schonefeld Airport in Berlin.

"We will start the process of establishing an engineering set up in India in 2007. We have been cooperating in a big way with the Indian aerospace industry. This (engineering) set up will be used to service the big fleet of our aircraft and this support will be our focus now," Humbert said in reply to questions.

He said the Airbus Industrie, which constitutes a major part of the European Aerospace Defence Space (EADS) consortium in terms of revenue and employment (almost 80 per cent), would also establish high-tech training centres for pilots and facilities for maintenance of aircraft in India.

"We are increasing the Airbus footprint beyond Europe and going worldwide. This is a win-win situation for both us and our customers and partners in various parts of the world," he said.

Announcing that the first A-380 aircraft, currently the largest in the world, would be delivered to the Singapore Airlines by the year end, Humbert said several large airports to accommodate these planes were already in place and many more, including Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore, would be in place by 2010 with all necessary facilities for taking in about 700 passengers at a time from a single A-380 landing.

Liquor baron Vijay Mallya's Kingfisher Airlines is the only Indian carrier which is among 14 worldwide customers to have already placed orders for five of these aircraft. Besides Airbus aircraft of other makes, it has ordered five long-range widebodied A-350s.

On the A-350s, Humbert said "slight changes are being made in the A-350 programme. The design of the aeroplane will be frozen in the middle of this year."

He said discussions were continuing with the customers to make the aircraft "more attractive". But no final decision about the design has been taken as yet.

Airbus claims to be ahead of Boeing in the deliveries of single-aisle planes like the A-320 family of planes, as also the largest A-380.

Three aircraft family members are on display at the Berlin Airshow. They are the A-380, which also participated in a demonstration flight, the A-340-600 long-range widebodied plane and the single-aisle jet A-319s, which have also been ordered by public sector carrier Indian, both for itself and its subsidiary Alliance Air.

First Published: May 17, 2006 17:17 IST