Airbus betting big on India, to have 5,000 employees in India by 2025

We have started the manufacturing process of parts in India for the future of C295: Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury

Airbus betting big on India, to have 5,000 employees in India by 2025

Guillaume Faury, CEO, Airbus

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Airbus is growing very significantly in India, and the company does not necessarily think that putting a commercial aircraft final assembly line is the way to deal with the situation.

“In terms of activity, in terms of sourcing, in terms of teams, in terms of headcount over there, we'll soon have 5,000 Airbus employees in India. So, I think it will be the case by 2025, roughly. So you see that it's very significant,” Guillaume Faury, CEO, Airbus said while addressing analysts after the announcement of Q12024 results.

“And actually, we're putting final assembly lines, but not commercial aircraft. We have the C295 final assembly line, which is currently being put in place. The first C295 from the contract with India has been delivered from Spain. And we have started the manufacturing process of parts in India for the future of the C295 that will deliver tens of aircraft and probably more in the future from India.”

Faury added that Airbus announced “a few weeks or months ago now, a final assembly line for the H125 with our partner Tata in India to serve the Indian market and some neighbouring countries. So that's the plan we have in India. It's a very broad and deep plan when it comes to the diversity of the activities.

“We're also growing the relationship we have with some Indian partners as suppliers for our IT, engineering, production, a bit across the board. And I would consider the teaming of India and Airbus on a large portfolio of activities as a very strong one as we move forward.”

Airbus Helicopters had announced, in January 2024, that it is partnering with the Tata Group to establish a Final Assembly Line (FAL) for helicopters in the country. The FAL will produce Airbus’ best-selling H125 helicopter from its civil range for India and export to some of the neighbouring countries.

The FAL will be the first instance of the private sector setting up a helicopter manufacturing facility in India, providing a major boost to the Government of India’s Aatma Nirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) programme. Under this partnership, Tata Advanced Systems (TASL), a subsidiary of Tata Group, will set up the facility along with Airbus Helicopters.

Strong Q1 performance
Airbus reported a nine percent increase in consolidated revenues at €12.8 billion for the first quarter of 2024 on higher deliveries.

A total of 142 commercial aircraft were delivered compared to 127 aircraft in Q1 2023, an increase of 12 percent, says an official release. The deliveries included 12 A220s, 116 A320 Family, seven A330s and seven A350s. Revenues generated by Airbus’ commercial aircraft activities increased 13 percent to €9.2 billion.

Consolidated adjusted EBIT declined 25 percent to €577 million (Q12023: €773 million) due to the increased Airbus Employee Share Ownership Plan, which saw record participation among employees and resulted in a year-on-year expense increase of slightly above €0.1 billion. Net income was up 28 percent to €595 million.

Faury says: “The strong commercial momentum that we observe on wide body aircraft underpins our decision to increase the production rate for the A350 to 12 aircraft a month in 2028. In Q1, we delivered 142 aircraft, a plus 12 percent increase year on year, roughly in line with our plan. Therefore, I'd like to recall that similarly to last year, we expect the delivery profile to be backhand loaded.”

IndiGo, Air India orders add to demand
IndiGo, India’s largest airline by market share, has placed an order for 30 Airbus A350 wide-body aircraft. These aircraft are the Airbus A350-900 variant. IndiGo’s A350 fleet will be powered by the Rolls Royce Trent XWB engine, as the company has also made agreements with Rolls Royce for 60 Trent XWB engines. In addition to the 30 Firm A350-900 order, IndiGo has Purchase Rights for an additional 70 Airbus A350 Family aircraft, based on its choice.

IndiGo placed the largest-ever single aircraft order by any airline, in June 2023, for 500 aircraft with Airbus. With that, the outstanding orderbook of A320 Family aircraft stands at almost 1,000 aircraft which are yet to be delivered well into the next decade.

The Tata Group-owned Air India announced plans to buy 40 Airbus A350s and 210 Airbus A320/321 Neos. The A350 aircraft will be powered by Rolls-Royce engines.

"India is on the verge of an international air travel revolution and we are honoured that our partnership with the Tatas and our aircraft solutions will write that new chapter for the country’s air-connectivity," Christian Scherer, Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International, Airbus had said when the order was finalised in February 2023.

"The A350’s unique capability will unlock the pent-up potential of India’s long-haul market, its technology, long reach and second to none comfort will enable new routes and passenger experience with better economics and enhanced sustainability. Alongside the A350s, the A320 Family fleets will be the efficient, versatile asset to continue democratising and decarbonising air travel in the country – from domestic, regional, up to international levels.”

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