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Home > Business > PTI > Report

Airbus eyes India to sell A-380s

February 07, 2005 17:16 IST

Airbus Industrie is setting its eye on India for selling its brand new, most modern and spacious A-380 aircraft.

"With the opening up of skies by the government, Indian private airlines would be looking for bigger aircraft for long haul. Airbus A-330s and A-340s would be best suited for them," regional press advisor of Airbus David Velupillai said, adding they could also consider buying A-380s.

He said the A-330s and A-340s were the best suited for Air India, which is also in need of more planes to cater to increasing number of destinations.

Referring to the new A-380 variety, he said the aircraft had much more space than the Boeing 747 series.

"It can land in any airport where 747s are capable of landing. At present in India, only Delhi and Mumbai airports are capable of handling these two aircraft by parking them in a remote bay with the passengers being ferried in a bus," he said.

To a question about the company's talks for selling or leasing aircraft to Indian Airlines, he said "We are in discussion with Indian Airlines and they need the aircraft very badly".

"We are confident that we have an aircraft which could be the best for Indian Airlines," he said while answering a question about the stiff competition being given by Boeing company.

Asked about the firming up of aircraft leasing market, Velupilli accepted that the aviation market is becoming stronger after a brief hangover of 9/11.

He said Airbus would highlight its partnership with Indian carriers and industry at the Aero India air show in Bangalore, to be held later this week.

Airbus' partnership with India dates back to more than 30 years, when Indian Airlines first selected its aircraft.

Today both Indian Airlines and Air India are major customers of Airbus aircraft, operating more than 60 of them, Velupillai said, adding that new private carriers such as Air Deccan and Kingfisher had also selected them.

He said the Airbus' success in the important Indian market was founded on the benefits offered by its modern aircraft family with advanced design features that delivered high fuel efficiency.

The aircraft manufacturer had a partnership with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd which produced doors for the A-320 family. The Bangalore-based HAL was recently awarded a contract worth $80 million.

Several other Indian companies including Puneóbased Computervision Research and Development, Bangalore-based VidhyaCom Technologies and Infosys were involved in providing software and services that were used by Airbus engineers in designing and supporting its aircraft.

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