American aircraft engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney (P&W) plans to set up a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility in India to tap the fast growing aviation industry in the country.
The move is part of P&W''s expansion drive. The company will increase its MRO facilities from 22 to 24 worldwide. By the end of next year, it will set up one MRO facility in Shanghai and another in Istanbul, in partnership with Turkish Airlines.
P&W has held exploratory talks with Kingfisher Airlines, but there are no concrete developments yet. The company is examining whether it should put up the MRO facility on its own or get into a joint venture with another organisation.
The company also plans to double its India business to $60 million within the next three years. At present, the multinational does annual business worth $30 million with its engineering and manufacturing partners - Infotech, L&T and the Tata group.
P&W is also eyeing the Indian defence market. Its engines power military aircraft like F-16s, as well as futuristic fifth-generation fighters like the F-22s and F-35s, apart from civilian planes like the Airbus A-380, ATR turboprop aircraft and helicopters. It has also been selected by the NASA space shuttle replacement programme.
In India, about 286 P&W engines are fitted on aircraft operated by Air India, Kingfisher, Air Deccan, JetLite, GoAir and IndiGo. Aircraft operated by some air cargo firms and the SARAS project of the National Aeronautical Laboratory (NAL) also use P&W engines.