Airbus highlights its presence in India's aviation marketplace
Airbus' key role in the Indian market is being underscored by its active participation at this week's India Aviation 2008 Air Show - the first such event dedicated to the country's civil aviation sector.
An A380 has been brought to Hyderabad's Begumpet Airport for display at the four-day air show, along with a new A319 that is being delivered to Air India.
India is a strategically important country for Airbus, and the company's presence in this market dates back 30 years with its first delivery of an A300B2 to Indian Airlines in 1974. Currently, Airbus has a market share of around 70 per cent of all commercial airliners sold in the market, and delivers approximately one aircraft per week to an Indian-based carrier.
Airbus customers in the country include such leading airlines as Air India, GoAir, Indigo Airlines, Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines and Simplifly Deccan.
The backbone of Air India's airliner inventory is formed by Airbus aircraft, with this national carrier flying one of the largest A320 fleets in Asia - as well as being the largest single operator of A310 passenger aircraft in the world. Simplifly Deccan was India's first low cost airline to introduce the A320s in its fleet, while another Indian low cost carrier - Indigo Airlines - placed one of the largest single orders for A320s when it signed for 100 aircraft in 2006.
Kingfisher Airlines was the first in India to order the A340, A350 and A380. Jet Airways became the market's initial airline to acquire the A330-200, and the new A330 freighter version has been ordered by India's Flyington Freighters.
The Airbus vision for India's aviation sector is to support its growth in the most sustainable way possible, helping to create value and successful partnerships with local customers and companies. Manufacturing relationships with Indian companies began with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in 1988, when an agreement was signed to make the forward passenger doors for the A320. Today, HAL produces almost half of all these doors manufactured worldwide.
Airbus' current industrial partnerships in India span engineering, information technology services, training, technical publications, research and technology, as well the manufacture of parts and sub-assemblies. In fact, Indian engineering companies - including more than 1,000 people from Bangalore - contribute to virtually all Airbus aircraft programmes. In addition, Airbus has been working with European suppliers to forge partnerships with Indian companies.
In September 2006, Airbus announced several cooperative initiatives in India, two of which are fully owned Airbus subsidiaries: the Airbus Engineering Centre India (AECI), and Airbus Training India.
AECI is a high-tech facility where Indian engineers are responsible for developing advanced capabilities in modelling and simulation, covering areas such as flight management systems and aerodynamics - which are critical factors in the design and production of high performance aircraft, including the A380 and the A350 XWB. This facility is expected to be involved in various Airbus aircraft products, and is expected to grow to almost 300 people in the next three years.
Airbus Training Centre India offers immediate support to the Indian aviation sector by providing a new service free of charge to screen and evaluate pilot candidates selected by airlines to be type-rated on Airbus aircraft. Pilots who are selected undergo refresher or entry-level training courses. Airbus also is working with Canadian flight simulator company CAE to extend the facility's capabilities as a full-fledged pilot training centre which will be able to train up to 1,000 annually, as well as offering maintenance courses in state-of-the-art classrooms.