“Can't be global without being in India,“ says Airbus CEO Enders

Berlin: European aerospace major and also one of the world's two biggest commercial aircraft manufacturers, Airbus has said that it would be ''definitely interested'' in exploring production possibilities in India. ''It [manufacturing] is something we would consider. The question is should we consider manufacturing ourselves or should we look for partners who would do that,'' chief executive officer and president, Airbus Industrie, Tom Enders, said.

In his interactions with the media at the ongoing Berlin ILA 2008 air show Enders said that going global without being present in India was impossible.

''You can't be global without being in India - with its large number of highly skilled, motivated and knowledgeable people. We are already capitalising on the incredible energy and entrepreneurial spirit in the country. We have initiated research and technical cooperation with some of the most respected Indian universities and laboratories. Airbus has started small but thinks big,'' Enders said.

The Airbus CEO said his company had a manufacturing agreement with Indian state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) for producing half the number of doors being manufactured for all the A-320 aircraft. ''We are producing 300 of these aircraft every year. So that is a lot of production going on at HAL,'' he said.

Airbus's parent, the EADS group, is in the running for two large Indian military aviation contracts. One of its companies, Eurocopter, is bidding for over 300 military helicopters, while EADS itself, as a member of the Eurofighter consortium is bidding for Indian Air Force's 126 medium range multi-role combat aircraft.