Airbus, Air India to set up maintenance facility in Delhi

October 16th, 2008 - 3:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Oct 16 (IANS) Air India and European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) are joining hands to set up an aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) centre in Delhi. The government’s National Aviation Company of India Ltd (Nacil) owns Air India, while EADS is an Airbus company.The centre, which will start operations from early 2009 at the India Gandhi International Airport, will become a member of the Airbus MRO network.

The two companies will sign the joint venture agreement later Thursday during India Aviation 2008, India’s first international conference and exhibition on civil aviation.

The two firms will initially be 50-50 equity partners in the joint venture, but a third Airbus network partner - a local EADS affiliate company - will be inducted later. The total project cost has been estimated at $40 million spread over five years.

As per the agreement, the joint venture will initially undertake airframe maintenance and repair of Nacil’s Airbus aircraft.

Later, the facility will service other types of aircraft like ATR, aircraft of other airlines, and aircraft outside the Airbus family, as well as entering the component maintenance business.

Nacil is currently in the process of inducting 43 new A320 aircraft from Airbus into its fleet. The induction programme, which started last year, will continue till early 2010. Currently, it operates 43 A320s, 11 A319s, 10 A321s, eight A310s and two A330s - all Airbus aircraft.

EADS officials said the MRO facility would also cater to the markets in South Asia region and neighbouring countries. By 2013, over 100 single-aisle aircraft and around 10 wide body aircraft would be maintained and the centre would employ 250 to 300 Indian technical personnel.

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