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Hero group to make planes now

Hero Group ties up with a German aircraft maker for assembling two and four-seat light sports aircraft at its aviation and defence SEZ coming up in Madhya Pradesh, reports HT Correspondent.

india Updated: Sep 03, 2008, 21:43 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

Delhi-based Hero Group has tied up with a German aircraft maker for assembling two and four-seat light sports aircraft at its aviation and defence special economic zone (SEZ) coming up at Obaidullaganj in Madhya Pradesh.

“We plan to investment of Rs 500 crore in SEZ through internal accruals for the light sports aircraft (LSA) project. We have tied up with a leading German LAS-maker with 20 per cent global market share,” Hero Aviation vice chairman and chief executive officer told Hindustan Times.

Munjal refusted to disclose the identity of the German partner on account of a confidentiality clause.

He said the German firm had manufactured 270 aircraft last year and is looking at bigger numbers after it sets foot in India with its venture partner.

“Our German partner will hold 26 per cent equity in the stake and the joint venture will roll out its first batch of 50 aircraft between September 2009 and March 2010 that will be shipped out for clients abroad,” Mujnal said.

The German aircraft maker, Munjal said, “will invest in terms of technology, buyback and trained manpower.”

Munjal said, “The JV, to start with, will assemble aircraft in India. The engine and avionics will be imported. We will have a composite component manufacturing at our SEZ and eventually we will manufacture the entire unit in India.”

Light sports aircraft are used for training, recreational purposes, firefighting and insecticide spraying, and cost between Rs 40 lakh to Rs 6 crore.

Hero Aviation is looking at a market for as many as 500-600 aircraft in India in the next five years and over 3,000 aircraft globally.

“We have 34 certified flying schools in India and as many as 90 applications for new flight training schools are pending with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, these new and existing schools could well be our potential customers,” Munjal said.

Hero Aviation also proposes to have a college for a degree course in aeronautical and aerospace technology at it proposed SEZ that will also have a 1.5-km airstrip for flight training, he said.

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