Millennium Post

Airbus ready to Make in India, CEO tells Modi

Expressing support to the ‘Make in India’ initiative, aircraft manufacturer Airbus on Saturday said that it is ready to manufacture in India, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited its facility here. Modi took the tour of the facility where planes are manufactured. He was given a briefing by officials on the functioning.

Airbus Group CEO Tom Enders, who received the Indian leader, said, “We are honoured to host Prime Minister Modi in Toulouse and convey to him our desire to forge a stronger industrial bond with India. India already takes a centre-stage role in our international activities and we want to even increase its contribution to our products.”

“We support Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Make in India’ call and (we) are ready to manufacture in India, for India and the world,” he added. In India, Airbus Group already operates two engineering centres — one focused on civil aviation and the other one defence — besides a research and technology (R&T) centre which together employ over 400 highly qualified people.

The group’s senior representative conveyed their decision to expand these centres so that they can take on comprehensive design responsibilities for future Airbus group programmes. Prime Minister Modi was given a tour of the Airbus A380 final assembly line. Currently, four A380 flights serve India daily.

“Much larger markets are waiting to be tapped. The potential for A380 to help Indian carriers win greater multinational market share with a flagship aircraft is enormous,” an Airbus press release said. The group is willing to set up final assembly lines and establish supply chains and related infrastructure for military transport aircraft and helicopters in India, the press release said.

These would be in full compliance with the procurement policies specified by the Indian Ministry of Defence and local FDI guidelines, the release said. Airbus Defence and Space has submitted a joint proposal with Tata to produce the modern C-295 aircraft in India as a replacement for the ageing Avro aircraft of the Indian Air Force.

The division also plans to develop and manufacture electronic sensors with a partner in India and has advanced discussions to support Hindustan Aeronautics’ (HAL) combat aircraft programme, the release said. Airbus Helicopters is in discussions with Indian companies to finalise teaming arrangements of various helicopter programmes, including naval utility helicopters, reconnaissance and surveillance helicopters as well as naval multi-role helicopters.

The Prime Minister also visited French CNES space agency’s facility where a group of Indian students greeted him and posed for photographs and took selfies.

During Modi’s France visit, India and France signed an MoU on cooperation in renewable energy, which  provides for cooperation to encourage and promote technical bilateral ties in solar, wind, bio-energy, tidal and wave energy sectors. The two countries also agreed on a new scheme to allow Indian students in France and French students in India to stay for a period of 24 months.

The scheme offers Indian Visas for 12 months renewable once for a period of 12 months for 250 French students and a ‘second residence permit’ of 12 months for Indian students in France following the 12 months already granted.
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