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European aircraft Airbus in talks with Tata Group for procurement of A350XWB aircraft

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

New Delhi: European aircraft manufacturer Airbus is in talks with Tata Group and Indian carriers for a deal regarding the procurement of its wide-bodied A350XWB planes, president and MD of Airbus India & South Asia, Remi Maillard said on Monday.

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The Tata Group currently runs four Indian carriers — Air India, Air India Express, Vistara and AirAsia India. The Centre had sold Air India and Air India Express to the Tata Group in September last year. Maillard said Tatas are Airbus’s partner in the defence business too.

Wide-bodied planes like A350XWB have larger fuel tanks that allow them to travel longer distances as compared to narrow-bodied aircraft like A320NEO. A350XWB aircraft can travel above 8,000 nautical miles, with flying time of approximately 18 hours in one flight.

“We are obviously in talks with all the airlines. The new owner of Air India, Tatas, are existing customers of Airbus,” said Maillard when asked if the European aircraft manufacturer is in talks with Tata and other Indian carriers for the A350XWB aircraft deal.

“We are industrializing and manufacturing together our C-295 military transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF),” he noted. “Of course, we will be privileged to continue supporting the ambition of the Tata Group in the aviation sector across all the complete spectrum,” he further added.

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The wide-bodied aircraft fleet in India has remained stagnant for the last 20 years, he said. The single-aisle aircraft fleet has multiplied by a factor of six in the same time period, he noted.

“We predict a 6.2 percent yearly average growth for the air traffic out of India. The world average is at 3.9 percent,” Maillard noted.

Airbus is ‘quite bullish’ on the long-haul international market out of India, he said. “We believe the kind of revolution we have witnessed in domestic traffic in the last 20 years will now happen in the long haul market,” he noted.

“We believe that the new generation aircraft, the A350, will be the trigger for this revolution in the international long haul market,” Maillard added.

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