Airbus to invest S1b in India in the next decade
NEW DELHI - Airbus Industrie on Monday confirmed plans to invest one billion dollars in India in the next decade as its superjumbo Airbus A380 arrived to raise the profile of its only customer in the country.
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 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 the southern city of 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.