EADS chief to meet Indian aerospace heads at Aero India 2003

EADS CEO Philippe Camus, who is also president of the French association of aerospace industries, GIFAS, will be visiting Aero India 2003 in Bangalore as a member of a delegation headed by French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin. Camus will be meeting the top managers of the Indian aerospace industry at the international aerospace exhibition, Aero India 2003, which is being held at the Jelahanka airport near Bangalore from 5 to 9 February 2003.

Camus has for long elucidated his view that India is an attractive market for Airbus aircraft, military and civil helicopters, transport aircraft, guided missiles and the development of future space technology. “With our growing presence in key regions in terms of sales, cooperation and technology transfer, EADS has become a global player. Working with our Indian partners, we intend to increase our presence on the world market.”

The relationship between commercial aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, which is a part of the EADS group, and India dates back to 1974, when Indian Airlines decided to purchase the A300B2. Today, more than 60 per cent of the aircraft operated by Indian Airlines and Air-India originate from Europe. Indian Airlines has the largest A320 fleet in Asia, Air-India the largest A310 fleet in the world. Airbus’s interactions are not limited to merely delivering to India, but also purchasing high-tech products from the country.

Indian aeronautics company Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) supplies doors for the A320 and other aircraft components. Software from India is also installed in Airbus aircraft.

Eurocopter, the EADS owned helicopter manufacturer, is also in close cooperation with the Indian industry. Since 1962, HAL has built over 600 Chetak and Cheetah helicopters under a licence for the world market leader, Eurocopter. In 1984, MBB (whose helicopter activities later merged into Eurocopter) assisted HAL in the development of the Indian Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH).

Currently, Eurocopter supplies rotor blades for the ALH. Among the customers of the European regional aircraft manufacturer ATR, a joint venture of EADS and the Italian company Alenia, are the Indian airlines Jet Airways and Alliance Air. The company also cooperates with HAL.