Airbus shares a long-standing relationship of collaboration and symbiotic growth with India. For more than 50 years, 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.
“Make in India"
"Make in India" is at the heart of Airbus strategy in India with the company constantly increasing the country's contribution to its global product portfolio. Airbus' local footprint in sourcing, engineering, innovation, maintenance and training services is a testament to our commitment to developing the local ecosystem.
India’s strength lies in its talent, with the presence of perhaps the largest engineers and Information Technology partner ecosystems in the world. We are leveraging these factors to contribute to our global programmes. For us, India is a base, a strategic resource hub for emerging technologies, world-class talent and research and development that powers the aerospace sector.
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. Today, Airbus accompanied India in its commercial aviation journey and is proud of an on-going, sustainable and ever-developing partnership. It has a prominent presence in the Indian aviation sector, accounting for a vast majority of the in-service fleet and more than 700 remaining to be delivered.
The A320 family is the preferred airliner in the discerning Indian market, and this long success propelled Delhi at the rank of the world's busiest A320 airport. The recently launched A321XLR will further push the boundary of our single aisle family.
Airbus’ focus amidst the pandemic has been on maintaining the highest standards for return to operations and on ensuring the best possible health precaution and sanitation for flyers. The “Keep Trust In Air Travel” campaign has been led in India to catalyse a safe and quick return to operations while reassuring travelers safety remain uncompromised.
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 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.
Airbus is working towards developing new market segments in the country such as, Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS), security, aerial work, power line missions etc. Recently, the first official HEMS service was launched in India by the state of Karnataka followed by AIIMS hospital in Dehradun, using Airbus H130 helicopters.
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
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 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 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.
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 field 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.
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 Airbus aircraft programmes (A320, A330, A350 XWB, A380 and helicopters).
Airbus is continuously working towards up scaling the skills of its engineers in new areas including, model-based system engineering and agile methods of development and digitalisation. The centre has mature with strong capabilities in structural analysis, loads, aerodynamics, avionics software design and testing, system simulation, digital mock-up and system installation. These capabilities are critical factors in the design and production of high performance aircraft.
Additionally, Airbus supports two dedicated design centres: one with AXISCADES as Fuselage Centre of Excellence, and the other with QuEST for Wing Centre of Excellence. Leading Indian companies such as Infosys, Tech Mahindra, Tata, Cyient, HCL and Wipro provide IT and engineering services to several Airbus programmes, including those for the A350XWB.
Airbus India IM Centre
Airbus began expanding its Information Management (IM) capabilities in India in 2018 to establish a global capability centre that supports all divisions worldwide. The new Information Management Centre in Bengaluru was inaugurated in September 2019. The new centre underscores Airbus’ efforts to maximise value from its global footprint, including from India where a remarkable IT engineering talent pool is complementing Airbus’ European partner ecosystems.The centre focuses on in-sourcing core capabilities across three main dimensions:
- Modernising the core such as ERP and PLM systems.
- Powering digital capabilities such as Big Data, IoT, Cloud, RTM and cyber security to name a few.
- Enabling strategic transformation initiatives such as the new Airbus platform and service, Skywise.
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. BizLab has a community of over 2000 B2B start-ups from India and South East Asia. As part of the program, startups receive support from an international team of experts from various fiels and have access to dedicated coaching staff, networking opportunities and co-working spaces.
The startup ecosystem in India is one of the fastest growing ecosystems in the world. Bizlab is boosting innovation and entrepreneurship in the Aerospace and Defense sectors. It is contributing to the government's flagship programmes 'Startup India' and 'Make in India' by scaling up startups in the aerospace and defence sectors.
Services & Training
Airbus fully understands the importance of providing fast and easily accessible support and service to our customers in this region to help them succeed in this fast paced growth.
Airbus has setup a customer services organisation dedicated to the South Asia region covering India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Maldives. Operational since September 2018 and based in New Delhi, a team of more than 100 members combines Customer Support, Field Service, Multi-Programme Support, Tailored Support Programme (TSP), Quality Management, Maintenance and Flight Training, 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 & Maintenance Support and Technical Data Support are being considered to be integrated as well. As a result of its unique "think global, act local" approach, the Airbus Customer Services team is aiming to maximise benefits for its customers. Improved geographic proximity to the services team, relevant experts with deep regional know-how being available in the same time zone and faster access to spares and services shall help Airbus customers maximise the operational efficiency and reliability of their fleet.
Airbus India training centre
The training centre in India is a part of the Airbus woldwide training network offering local, pragmatic training solutions and become a partner of choice for safe and efficient operations of Airbus aircraft.
Located in the National Capital Region (NCR) and in Bengaluru, the training centres offer a comprehensive range of training courses for pilots and maintenance personnel by using the Airbus OEM expertise, innovative courseware, highly-qualified instructors, and the most advanced training technologies available in the market.
Airbus has been providing maintenance training from its existing centre in Bengaluru since 2007, and has so far trained more than 3000 maintenance engineers. With its new facility in the National Capital Region (NCR) the training centre will have the capacity to train more than 8000 pilots and 2000 engineers over the next ten years.
In India, Airbus is 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 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.
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.
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.
The objective of this initiative is to develop the thinking and problem solving abilities of children and to generate curiosity in them through an integrated learning experience. Airbus is doing this by introducing children to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education through the YouTECH Program. This is in concurrence with the government’s ‘Skill India’ programme.
The program aims to cater to the children studying in government schools in Gurgaon and Bengaluru.