New Delhi: European plane maker Airbus has confirmed its plans to invest more than $1 billion (Rs4,063 crore) in the Indian aviation industry in the next 10 years, a senior company official said on 7 May,as its superjumbo Airbus A380 arrived to raise the profile of its only customer in the country.
“We have decided to invest over $1 billion in next 10 years in Indian aviation,” John Leahy, chief operating officer (customers) of Airbus, told a news conference.
The aircraft flew a maiden trip to New Delhi Sunday to mark the second anniversary of private domestic carrier Kingfisher Airlines, the only Indian airline and among 16 airlines globally to have ordered the plane from the European manufacturer.
Airbus will invest “one billion dollars in the next 10 years” in India for training, maintenance and in setting up a design centre, John Leahy, chief operating officer for customers at European-based Airbus Industrie, told reporters in New Delhi.
In February Airbus said in Bangalore that it would invest one billion dollars in the country during the next decade, but Leahy’s confirmation comes as the airline pursues massive cost-cutting linked to low demand and production delays of the giant passenger jet.
Kingfisher Airlines, owned by Indian distiller UB group, ordered five A380s in 2005 among 15 planes in a deal worth about three billion dollars.
It expects the first delivery of the aircraft in 2011 as it draws up plans for an international debut, using the A380, which has been much delayed in production, on high-density routes such as to the United States.
Air travel in India has soared in the past five years as almost a dozen new airlines have been launched to serve demand in the fast-expanding economy.