Airbus to set up pilot and maintenance centre in India
Airplane maker Airbus SAS will set up a pilot and maintenance training centre in the National Capital Region at a cost of $40 million for the first phase, to support India's need for new Airbus pilots.
Srinivasan Dwarakanathan, president of Airbus division in India, said on an average one Airbus aircraft per week is expected to be delivered to Indian airlines over the next 10 years.
Airbus on Friday said the proposed investment in a training centre is a key strategic Airbus initiative in line with the country's Skill India programme launched in 2015 by the Indian government to develop a wide range of advanced competencies.
This new centre will be fully owned by Airbus Group India with training to be delivered by Airbus's specialized training instructors.
Airbus has been providing maintenance training from its existing centre in Bengaluru since 2007, and has so far trained over 2,750 maintenance engineers. The new center will accelerate the pace of training to help match the A320neo deliveries to India, Airbus said. IndiGo, run by InterGlobe Aviation Ltd, is one the largest A320neo customer and has its own training centre.
Airbus is yet to finalise the exact location in Delhi, from where Airbus's largest customer IndiGo is operating.
Staffed by Airbus trainers, the proposed pilot training centre will have the capacity to train over 8,000 pilots and 2,000 maintenance engineers over 10 years from 2018.
Dwarakanath of Airbus said the first facility would be ready by the end of next year and it will be built in a modular concept in order to accommodate four A320 full flight simulators with potential to expand.
He said airlines from India and neighbouring countries can take advantage of this as the original equipment manufacturer itself is offering training with international quality. At present, 210 Airbus planes are flying in India.
According to Airbus's latest global market forecast, India requires over 1,600 passenger and freighter aircraft in the next 20 years to 2034, with accompanying demand for new pilots and maintenance engineers.
With 81 million trips, India's domestic aviation market grew at over 20.3% during January-December 2015, the highest growth rate recorded in the world. India is well on its way to become the third largest aviation market by 2020, said a FICCI-KPMG India Aviation Report 2016 launched on Thursday at the civil aviation exposition in Hyderabad.
The report suggested that aspects such as increasing disposable incomes, fall in prices of aviation turbine fuel, increase in tourism, visa reforms, etc. have placed India in a unique position. This is bringing the country closer to achieving its vision of becoming the largest aviation market by 2030.