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Airbus sets up India subsidiary

The Hindu BusinessLine:  March, 2014

Hyderabad: Global aviation major Airbus has restructured its India operations to consolidate strengths and tap the growing market.

It has created a fully owned subsidiary called Airbus India by grouping its activities in the country. Srinivasan Dwarakanath is the new Chief Executive Officer and Charles Champion, member of the Airbus Executive Committee, is the Chairman.

Airbus India will manage the company’s Indian footprint spread across several sites. It will have customer centres in Delhi and Mumbai.

Fifth country subsidiary

Airbus India is the fifth country subsidiary outside Europe for the aviation giant. The changes are directed towards building on the success of the Airbus Engineering Centre India (AECI) in Bangalore and a clear recognition of the country as a strategic hub, said Dwarakanath.

The new entity will also include strategy, customer services and procurement teams under one organisation. A Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) capability will be established, at a later date, he told Business Line in a telephonic interview.

MRO facility

Asked about the MRO facility, which has been delayed, the India Chief said: “We are talking to several partners. It is in our interest to set it up. I hope this year we will make progress,” he added.

The pilot and maintenance training facilities in Bangalore and Greater Noida have also expanded their activity, training around 1,200 personnel so far from both the Far East and West Asian nations, along with India. Nearly 5,000 people are involved across the supply chain of Airbus’s activities. On the engineering design and manufacture front, Airbus has dedicated centres with Cades and Quest Technologies.

“We will add at least a 100 each in these two centres in the near future. They do critical component and structure design manufacture for us,” Dwarakanath said.

Indian partners

TCS, Tech Mahindra, Wipro, Tatas, Geometric are among the growing number of Indian companies Airbus is partnering with, in the engineering and IT space.

Moves are afoot to expand tie-ups and work with Indian institutes and universities in emerging technologies.

At present, there are around 30 Indian suppliers working on Airbus programmes and manufacturing parts for every aircraft model. Indian carriers operate a fleet of over 170 Airbus aircraft. Airbus’ current market share of sales in India represents over 60 per cent of the country’s total aircraft backlog, he said.

The cumulative turnover of Airbus-generated work in India has grown from $20-25 million in 2005-06 to $250 million at the end of 2013.

Airbus is participating in the five-day India Aviation 2014 exhibition beginning here tomorrow.