Airbus in India
Airbus’ footprint in the fast-growing Indian aerospace sector is coordinated through the company’s fully-owned Airbus India subsidiary, which was formally announced in March 2014. This unifies the company’s in-country engineering, strategy, procurement and customer services activities under one operation – bringing Airbus closer to Indian customers, suppliers and stakeholders.
For more than 40 years, Airbus has fostered cooperation to support sustainable growth in India’s aviation sector with long-term mutually beneficial industrial opportunities.
Airbus’ industrial cooperation with India began in 1988 when an agreement was reached with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to manufacture passenger doors for the A320 aircraft. As of March 2014, HAL produces half of all A320 forward passenger doors. In addition, Airbus’ list of Indian partners and suppliers has expanded to encompass engineering, IT services, training, technical publications, research and technology, and the manufacturing of parts and some sub-assemblies.
As of the Airbus India subsidiary’s formal announcement, Indian companies – and more than 5,000 employees nationwide – contribute to all Airbus aircraft programmes.
In recognition of the country’s strategic importance, Airbus has made a long-term pledge to play a major role in the development of India’s aviation sector. The Airbus Engineering Centre India Pvt. Ltd. (AECI) – a 100 per cent Airbus-owned subsidiary – is an example of this ongoing commitment.
Specialising in high-tech aeronautical engineering, the Indian engineering centre – which employs some 350 engineers – works hand-in-hand with other Airbus engineering offices around the world, as well as with the Indian aviation industry.
The Bangalore-based centre focuses on the development of advanced capabilities in the areas of modelling and simulation, covering such areas as flight management systems, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), as well as digital simulation and visualisation – which are critical factors in the design and production of high-performance aircraft such as the A380, the A350 XWB, and the A320neo.
In addition, Airbus Training India (ATI) initiated its operations in Bangalore and has provided maintenance training to more than 1,000 people from airlines in India and neighboring countries.
Airbus also extended its presence in Bangalore during 2011 with inauguration of a full-fledged flight training centre. This modern facility trains several hundred pilots per year from the region annually on two simulators, and is also equipped with state-of-the-art classrooms and associated technologies. In late 2013, a new pilot training centre in the National Capital Region was officially opened, containing two A320 simulators and the potential for expansion to ten simulators.
Airbus also works directly with Indian companies in the design and manufacture of aerostructures and strongly encourages its major Tier 1 partners to do so as appropriate. Dynamatic Technologies Limited from Bangalore has partnered with Spirit AeroSystems to manufacture a complex machining component and assembly (Flap-Track Beams) for the A320 Family, the world’s most popular single-aisle aircraft programme.
Through its Tier 1 suppliers, Airbus also is engaging local companies such as TATA, and AEQUS for the manufacture of sub-assemblies and detail parts across several of its aircraft programmes.
Furthermore, Airbus has initiated several engineering projects with Indian companies. Infosys, HCL, CADES, Satyam and Quest have been selected to provide Engineering Services to various aircraft programmes, including the A380 and A350 XWB. In addition, Sonovision-Aetos in Bangalore has been set up as a dedicated centre for work on Airbus Technical Publications.
Airbus’ emerging technologies and concept (ETC) group – which was established to work on disruptive concepts to foster innovation – is headed from Bangalore, with teams in Toulouse, France and Hamburg, Germany. In addition, Airbus continues to pursue other potential areas of cooperation with India, including a spares centre in Mumbai and working closely with partners to establish an MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) facility for Airbus aircraft in India.
The company’s aircraft have become a key element in the operations of Indian-based airlines, starting with the 1976 delivery of an A300 to Indian Airlines. The fleets of Indian carriers now include more than 170 Airbus jetliners, from its single-aisle and widebody product lines. Since 2005, Airbus has won over 60 per cent market share of new orders from the country.
• For more information on the Airbus India subsidiary, read the press release.