Flight Plan

Demand for domestic air travel picking up: Rémi Maillard

Anil Urs | Updated on February 10, 2021

Rémi Maillard

Airbus was a major participant at the recently-concluded Aero India, 2021. Rémi Maillard, President & MD of Airbus India & South Asia, shares the company’s plans for India with BusinessLine:

What is the status of setting up an assembly plant in association with Indian partners?

Airbus has offered to set up the 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. We have also partnered with Mahindra Defence to produce the Panther helicopter for the NUH programme.The core areas of the partnership are: Setting-up of final assembly lines in India for these products, Transfer of Technology (ToT) focused on the aeronautical domain, industrial investments, support to local supply chain development and skilling people for employment in the sector.

When does Airbus expect to start full-scale production of the C295 aircraft?

Once the campaign is secured, Airbus Defence and Space and Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) will jointly execute the project to equip the Indian Air Force with 56 C-295 transport aircraft under the ‘Make in India’ initiative. Airbus will supply the first 16 aircraft in flyaway condition in 2-4 years, after signing the contract. The remaining 40 will be assembled and manufactured in India by Tata, which will be delivered in 5-10 years, after signing the contract.

What is the forecast for the number of aircraft India will need in the next five years?

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on the Indian aviation sector in 2020. While full recovery will take some years, especially when it comes to international flights, the economy is opening up gradually. Demand for air travel has started to pick up, especially on the domestic front. The speed at which the domestic traffic is recovering shows the resilience of the Indian market. We believe that going forward, the regional connectivity scheme will play a key role in the growth of the domestic market. We also see immense potential in the cargo business which has been a key stable source of revenue for airlines worldwide. Owing to these, and with the roll out of anti-coronavirus vaccinations, we expect to see a significant demand for air travel in the future and with that a demand for aeroplanes.

Published on February 07, 2021

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