Air­bus to set up pi­lot and main­te­nance cen­tre in In­dia

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

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.

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