Tuesday, June 18, 2024

India’s Aviation & Defence Sector Soars At Paris Airshow 2023 With Record-Breaking Deals

By Aritra Banerjee

The Paris Airshow 2023 marked the triumphant return of the global aerospace industry post-pandemic, with Indian aviation stealing the limelight. The domestic airline IndiGo made history with an order for 500 A320 family aircraft from Airbus, a record-breaking deal that overshadowed Air India’s previous order for 470 aircraft.

Tata-owned Air India was not far behind, announcing significant orders of 250 aircraft from Airbus and 220 from Boeing, marking a clear move towards aggressive expansion and fleet modernisation. These purchases, including models such as A320neo, A321neo, A350, 737 MAXs, 787 Dreamliners, and 777X widebodies, are part of a robust five-year growth plan curated by Vihaan.AI.

The strategic vision aims to establish Air India as a world-renowned carrier, incorporating an authentic Indian touch. The strategy involves an investment of over USD 600 million – USD 200 million for digital and technological enhancements and USD 400 million for refitting the cabins of all widebody aircraft.

Air India’s transformation journey was further solidified by the signing of key maintenance and digital services agreements with the Airbus subsidiary, Satair, and Boeing Global Services.

The Paris Airshow was not merely about IndiGo and Air India. The Indian carrier FlyBig also made headlines by placing an order with Canadian plane maker De Havilland Canada for a lightweight variant of its popular “Twin Otter” aircraft known for its superior payload.

HENSOLDT had cutting-edge solutions for the Indian Armed Forces

Indian companies such as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), L&T Technology Services, Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL), Aerolloy Technologies Limited, Dynatech Tools & Devices, Garg Associates, Polyhose India, Rotary Connectors, Sansera Engineering Limited, Veer-o-Metals were also under the spotlight. At the same time, reputed sensor house Hensoldt stood out with its state-of-the-art solutions for the Indian Armed Forces.

HAL’s indigenous platforms grabbed global attention, garnering interest from state entities from countries including Argentina, Vietnam, and Madagascar. Exhibits such as the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) ‘Tejas’, Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) ‘Prachand’, and HTT 40 drew acclaim, underscoring India’s self-reliance and technological prowess in defence and aerospace.

A notable event was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between HAL and Argentina’s ábrica Argentina de Aviones (FAdeA) to explore collaborations in MRO services and cater to potential offset requirements for HAL’s sales in Latin America.

Praveen P.A, Dir. A&D, Govt of Telangana

Praveen P.A, Director, Aerospace & Defence at the Government of Telangana, encapsulated the excitement in an exclusive interaction with Indian Aerospace & Defence: “There’s an overwhelming positivity surrounding India in all my meetings at the Paris Air Show. The mega orders of IndiGo and Air India have excited not just the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) but also the downstream supply chain and service providers. Numerous global tier 1 and tier 2 players are finding a strong business case to set up or expand their operations in India.”

Without a doubt, the Paris Airshow 2023 marked a significant turning point for Indian aviation, signalling a potent comeback and a future brimming with ambitious plans. As the industry enters a new era, India’s major airlines and emerging and established defence sector players are well-positioned to seize the burgeoning opportunities.

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