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Airbus in India

Airbus shares a long-standing relationship of collaboration and symbiotic growth with India. For decades, technology and know-how from the company have catalysed the growth of India’s civil aviation sector and supported the modernisation of its armed forces.

“We make it” in India

Driven by the “Make in India” initiative, Airbus is constantly increasing the country’s contribution to its global product portfolio. Its local footprint in sourcing, engineering, innovation, maintenance and training services play a key role, alongside the push to retain and extend the company's leadership in this large market – which will be the world’s fastest-growing economy according to the Airbus’ Global Market Forecast for 2019-2038. 

“For Airbus, India is not just a large, fast-growing market for aerospace products and services. It is a base, a strategic resource hub for emerging technologies, world-class talent and research and development that will power not just aerospace and future aerial mobility but also Industry 4.0 in the years to come.”

Anand Stanley, President & Managing Director, Airbus India & South Asia

“Make in India” is at the front and centre of Airbus’ business strategy in the country, and embedding local businesses in the company’s global supply chain is one of its approach pillars.

Presently, Airbus’ annual procurement from the country surpasses US$650 million from more than 45 Indian suppliers that provide engineering and IT services, aerostructures, materials and cabins for several of Airbus’ leading aircraft. The suppliers – both public and private – employ over 7,000 people, including 1,500 engineers working on projects handled by the company. 

Collaborating with suppliers, Airbus conducts training to keep the workforce engaged in its projects. Intensive training and mentoring ensure workers’ skills are up to date. Airbus is proud of its cooperations with its supplier base in India and plays a major role in stimulating growth for the companies and increasing their value chain competitiveness.

An infographic highlighting Airbus’ presence in India, as well as its contribution to the country’s local economy.

February 2020

Commercial Aircraft

Airbus’ relationship with India started half a century ago with the delivery of the first A300 twin-aisle aircraft to the erstwhile Indian Airlines, now Air India. It has a proud and prominent presence in the Indian aviation sector. Airbus is India’s aircraft supplier of choice, accounting for 78% of new order backlog. The fleet of Indian carriers includes over 400 Airbus aircraft in-service and more than 735 on order, including the firm order in 2019 for 300 A320neo Family aircraft by IndiGo. This order reaffirms that the A320 Family is the preferred airliner in the discerning Indian market. 

Airbus has been fostering cooperation and supporting the development of the Indian aerospace and aviation eco-systems. The company has a formidable track record of successfully integrating Indian industry in its products.

Airbus’ industrial strategy in India

  • Engineering
  • Customer services
  • Aerospace partnership
  • Research & technology and innovation 

Airbus has proposed multiple projects to kick-start a defence-focused industrial ecosystem in the country, including an offer to build the C295 military transport aircraft with Tata, as well as a partnership with Mahindra Defence to locally manufacture military helicopters.

The execution of these projects will create thousands of jobs in India and catalyse the local supplier base, creating new capabilities to support the indigenous production of military equipment.

Airbus IM centre in Bengaluru

Building local engineering and innovation for global growth

Operational since 2007, the Airbus Engineering Centre in Bengaluru has around 500 engineers working across both fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft programmes for Airbus (the A320, A330 and A350 XWB jetliners, and helicopters). It has matured with strong capabilities in structural analysis, loads, aerodynamics, avionics software design and testing, system simulation, digital mock-up and system installation.

Additionally, Airbus has two dedicated design centres: one with AXISCADES for fuselages and another with QuEST for wings and pylons – both supporting over 1,000 engineering jobs.

Customer services in South Asia

South Asia is a region of massive growth in terms of aircraft deliveries and service requirements. India is set to become the third largest aviation market in the world by 2024. Airbus fully understands the importance of providing fast and easily accessible support and service to its customers in this region to help them succeed in this fast-paced world.

Airbus has set up a dedicated customer services organisation for the South Asia region, covering India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Maldives. Operational since September 2018 and based in India at New Delhi, the team of over 100 members combines customer support, field service, program support, tailored support programme (TSP), quality management, maintenance and flight training, as well as services and business development. The team also includes Airbus’ fully owned subsidiaries – Satair for spare parts distribution, and Navblue for flight operations services. Other functions, such as flight operations support, engineering and maintenance support and technical data support are under consideration for integration as well. 

 

Airbus’ training centre in India will help step up the training of pilots and engineers to match A320 deliveries in the country.

Airbus India training centre

Airbus inaugurated Asia’s first fully-owned pilots and maintenance engineers training centre for commercial aircraft in New Delhi’s National Capital Region (NCR). It supports the country’s need for new pilots to operate existing and next-generation Airbus jetliners. The centre accelerates the pace of training to help match the A320 Family aircraft deliveries to India. Airbus’ specialised instructors deliver training at the centre, which will have the capacity to train over 8,000 pilots and 2,000 maintenance engineers over the next 10 years.

Airbus has been providing maintenance training from its existing centre in Bengaluru since 2007, and has so far trained over 3000 maintenance engineers.

Airbus BizLab India

In 2015, Airbus established a BizLab Bengaluru, out of the four BizLabs in the world, the first and only BizLab outside Europe.  BizLab is a part of Airbus’ global innovation strategy to bring together start-ups (entrepreneurs) and Airbus “intrapreneurs” (internal entrepreneurs) to work and speed up the transformation of their innovative ideas into valuable businesses.

In India, Airbus BizLab has achieved the following milestones:

  • Nine successful partnerships between start-ups and Airbus teams and subsidiaries in India and the Asia-Pacfic region
  • Multiple proof-of-concept initiatives on a variety of topics (battery technology, electrification, geo-spatial analytics, etc.)
  • A community of over 2,000 B2B start-ups in South-East Asia and India

Recently, Airbus India BizLab signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government of Kerala to be a knowledge partner for the aerospace-focused innovation centre in Thiruvananthapuram. The Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) is aimed at fostering, nurturing and enabling ecosystem for aviation start-ups in the state. The move highlights Airbus India’s continued commitment to the “Startup India” mission. As part of the Centre of Innovation, Airbus – along with the Government of Kerala – is working on geo-spatial intelligence for rebuilding the affected parts of the state after the devastating floods of 2018 and is also mapping high risk zones for quick evacuation in future.

Airbus BizLab has successfully signed multiple partnerships with Indian start-ups since its inception. 

Innovations and R&T activities with Indian partners

Airbus has a network of research partnerships in India. It carries out research and technology (R&T) in advanced fields such as big data analytics, high performance and distributed computing, computer vision and signal processing.

In India, Airbus teams of scientists and engineers work in various technology domains, ranging from emerging technologies (Blockchain, digital manufacturing, autonomous flight, hyperspectral sensing, etc.). They are also responsible for scouting external players, and prototyping and develop these technologies for use in future aircraft. The teams are also developing online platforms and cloud-based solutions to manage knowledge within Airbus.

Airbus also collaborates with leading local universities and institutions in India. Since 2013, it has successfully conducted research projects with various Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in areas relating to computing, simulation, navigation, and homeland security. In 2017, Airbus inaugurated “Protospace” in Bengaluru, to provide a laboratory for rapid prototyping and concept technology realisation. 

 

Helicopters

Airbus Helicopters has been collaborating with India for over five decades.

Airbus Helicopters has been collaborating with India for over five decades.

Airbus is the world’s largest civil helicopter manufacturer for civil and parapublic rotorcraft. Airbus Helicopters was the first foreign original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to set up a customer centre dedicated to the Indian market. With presence in key cities across the country, the company has been leading the domestic civil and parapublic helicopter market since 2010. Currently, there are more than 100 Airbus helicopters, including world leading platforms such as H125, H130, H135, Dauphin and the ACH145 which are being used by operators throughout India – particularly in the oil and gas, commercial and business aviation segments. Pawan Hans, the national helicopter operator, owns the world’s largest fleet of civil Dauphin helicopters: it has logged more than 650,000 flight hours in India.

Airbus also is playing an active role in developing new market segments in India – such as helicopters for emergency medical services, stringing of power transmission lines, heli-tourism, search and rescue, homeland security and heli-taxis.

On the military side, the company has a rich history of industrial collaboration with the Indian industry. Airbus Helicopters signed an initial license agreement with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in 1962 allowing the latter to manufacture the Alouette III rotorcraft in India. In 1970, this agreement was expanded to include the production under license of the Lama. In India, these rotorcrafts are known as the Chetak and Cheetah, respectively, with HAL producing more than 600 of them. Furthermore, Airbus is aiming at the Naval Utility Helicopter (NUH) and the Naval Multi-Role Helicopter (NMRH) acquisition programmes in India, in partnership with Mahindra Defence.

 

Defence and Space

An Airbus C295 tactical aircraft shown during flight.

Airbus is actively supporting the modernisation of India’s armed forces, as well as the nation’s industrial development plans, through several programmes: 

  • Airbus is offering to set up a final assembly line in India in partnership with Tata to produce C295 military transporter as a replacement for the Indian Air Force’s Avro aircraft fleet.
  • Airbus will be offering its A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft, a proven multiplier, to the Indian Air Force to meet its long-term strategic requirements.

Airbus is Europe’s leading space company, and has extensive experience working with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and its commercial arm, Antrix. Together, they designed and built two communication satellites – Eutelsat W2M in 2008, and HYLAS-1– for European customers. In addition, ISRO has successfully launched Airbus’ Earth observation satellites – SPOT-6 in 2012, and SPOT-7 in 2014 – aboard its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). In 2015, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), a UK-based satellite manufacturer and Airbus subsidiary, launched DMC-3 satellites via the PSLV.

Airbus products were also a part of several important ISRO missions, including the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) and the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).

Launch services supported by Airbus have orbited more than 20 satellites for ISRO, with these spacecraft lofted from the Guiana Space Centre (CSG) – Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, South America.

Airbus is Europe’s leading space company, and has extensive experience working with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and its commercial arm, Antrix. Together, they have designed and built two communication satellites – Eutelsat W2M in 2008, and HYLAS-1 in 2010 – for European customers. In addition, ISRO has successfully launched Airbus’ Earth observation satellites – SPOT-6 in 2012 and SPOT-7 in 2014 – aboard its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). In 2015, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), a UK-based satellite manufacturer and Airbus subsidiary, launched DMC-3 satellites via the PSLV.

Airbus products also have been present on many important ISRO missions, including the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) and the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).

Launch services supported by Airbus have orbited more than 20 satellites for ISRO, with these spacecraft lofted from the Guiana Space Centre (CSG) – Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, South America.

Liftoff of an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

Fostering an inclusive workplace for all

At Airbus we believe there is power in being different. In India, Airbus fosters inclusiveness and diversity in the workplace and encourage it within our people because we know it is imperative for our continued innovation, creativity, and business success. Some key I&D initiatives in India include:

  • Women India Network

A network of female employees with the aim of sharing their stories, challenges, and learning. This platform actively thrives on coaching and leadership development. Across India, this has included leadership exposure sessions and self-defence workshops. 

  • PRIDE@AIRBUS

Airbus is committed to ensuring an open and inclusive environment to members of the LGBT+ community for each person to feel respected and valued in their place of work. To this end, we launched the Pride@Airbus employee network in Bengaluru.

  • FLY AGAIN

Airbus India launched a pilot initiative called ‘FLY Again’ – a women’s career relaunch programme. The objective of the programme is to provide opportunities to qualified women who are on a career break and whish to resume work. 

Airbus already has selected and on-boarded numerous candidates under this initiative who will undergo up-skilling programmes, mentoring, buddy support, ultimately being connected to internal communities to help them reintegrate to work.

  • Balance for Business

Discover how Airbus fosters inclusiveness and diversity for a workplace to which people can bring their best selves.

Engaging with communities

Biogas Plant Being Installed In The Nilgris

Improving quality of life in the communities in which we live and operate is an essential component of our corporate sustainability initiatives. In India, we are working with local communities to create shared value in areas such as environment protection, education and healthcare.

India bio-diversity programme

Under the aegis of Airbus Foundation, Airbus works in partnership with the United Nations Development Programmes, Global Environment Facility – Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP); along with the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests; the Centre for Environmental Education; and the Centre for Tribal and Rural Development Trust for Paniyan, Kurumban, Kotas and Kattunayakans communities in Tamil Nadu. The project started as an eight-year initiative (from 2010 to 2017) and was subsequently extended. More than 65 biogas plants already have been installed in these communities that have helped save significant quantities of wood, and reduce CO2 emissions.

Community outreach programme

Airbus supports corporate social responsibility activities that have a positive effect on the lives of local communities. Airbus supports:

  • Swanthana
    Swanthana provides day-to-day necessities to support children with special needs.

 

  • SGBS Unnati Foundation

The Unnati Foundation enables underprivileged youth to obtain employment. In this partnership, Airbus sponsors vocational training of youth from less fortunate backgrounds, and mentors them on life skills, values and etiquette.  Since 2016, Airbus has supported more than 800 youths in their vocational training with Unnati Foundation. They are now placed in organisations like Indiabulls, Café Coffee Day, Bharat Matrimony, and Tata Westside.

  • Smile Foundation

The Smile Foundation works in the areas of education, healthcare, youth employability and women empowerment across several states of India. The NGO-initiated “Smile on Wheels” which is a national-level mobile hospital programme for underprivileged children and women. The programme systematically takes well-equipped medical vans along with specialised doctors, nurses, medical staff and medicines to villages and slums. Airbus India has joined Smile Foundation to provide health care in rural and slum areas of Delhi and the National Capital Region. Approximately 54,000 beneficiaries are covered through mobile health clinics out of which 70% are women and children and 900 are covered in three special health camps.

  • Christel House

The Christel House Learning Centre is a place for disadvantaged children to grow, achieve and realise their dreams. The mission of the Christel House is to help orphaned, abandoned and underprivileged children break the cycle of poverty and make them self-sufficient and contributing members of the society. The support includes scholarship for university education, development of job search skills for those entering the workforce and networking opportunities for graduates to improve employment opportunities. Under this initiative 35 students were given scholarships to pursue engineering degrees from a recognised university.

  • Sightsavers India

Sightsavers India’s philosophy is that no person should go blind for avoidable causes. They are providing specialist treatment and eye care facilities for the people in need. With the support of Airbus India, 60 camps are to be organised across Delhi/NCR to reach around 6,000 people, screening for eye problems like refractive error and cataracts. Patients diagnosed with refractive error are prescribed glasses – which are made available to them. Those identified with cataracts are referred to the base hospital or government hospitals for treatment.

Corporate initiatives

  • Aerospace MBA programme

Airbus is sponsoring a two-year part-time MBA programme delivered in Bengaluru by the Toulouse Business School in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Management (IIM-B), Bengaluru. The programme commenced in the 2015-2016 academic year and has been a success with an initial enrolment of over 60 students.

 

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