Friday, May 20, 2011

EXCLUSIVE! Air Works India expands on all fronts

Show News Daily-EBACE 2011
Neelam Mathews
May 19, 2011

Air Works India Eyes More Commercial, Military MRO Deals

May 16, 2011

Sixty years since it was founded, Air Works India holds a 30-40% share of the general aviation MRO market across the country, but no, the company wants to expand that business and is eyeing up new opportunities in commercial – and perhaps even military – MRO and support work.
Top of the list is a pending certification from Dassault to work on the Falcon 900EX and its Enhanced Avionics System (EASy). If approval is received in time, the company hopes to make an announcement here at EBACE.
“Certification involves hard work and investment in capital, including tooling and equipment and training to fulfill the stringent requirements of the OEM,” said Ravi Menon, executive director, Air Works.
General aviation in India had grown by 46% over the past 36 months according to a recent survey from Firestone Management Group. Figures from NetJets are similar, recording 47 new aircraft that bring the number currently based in India to 146 – growth of about 40%.
The Firestone report says Hawker Beechcraft is India’s leading supplier with 35 aircraft in service, followed by Cessna (31), Bombardier (24), Dassault Falcon (17), Gulfstream (15) and Embraer (9). To take advantage of this growing opportunity, Air Works recently purchased InterGlobe General Aviation, one of the country’s best MRO facilities, with a hangar in Delhi. As the first and only authorized service center for Hawker Beechcraft aircraft in India, InterGlobe’s acquisition is a move that could also branch into new military work.
The Indian Air Force is looking for a new basic trainer and Hawker Beechcraft’s T-6 is in the running. A production line will be established in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. for whatever aircraft is selected, but MRO could be outsourced. While there is no commitment to this yet, Menon said, “we will be able to support them should they wish us to do so.”
Hawker Beechcraft activity is already underway at Air Works, with the first extensive inspection of a Hawker 800XP in India recently completed. The InterGlobe (now Air Works) facility covers 1,700 sq meters and offers world class amenities including a VIP lounge, pilot offices, crew lounges, maintenance support offices and a large hangar that can undertake maintenance on up to six aircraft at a time.
“Until we made the acquisition, we were using facilities in other hangars and were limited to line maintenance. Also, Mumbai airport is saturated for parking space. With business growing, the Delhi facility will meet our future requirements,” noted Menon. The company said it will now be able to pursue business that would otherwise be done outside India.
With general aviation growing rapidly in Asia and the Middle East, Air Works is looking at opportunities to establish a global footprint. With a view to acquiring engine support facilities, Menon says the company took a call this month to “look at an acquisition (anywhere) between Singapore to Frankfurt.” He is only months away from making an announcement. “It can be through joint ventures or acquisition… anything that becomes a value proposition to us,” Menon added. “There are many opportunities to pick low-hanging fruit.”
Now established in Mumbai and Delhi, Air Works is exploring Chennai or Bangaluru (formerly Bangalore) as its next regional center. Meanwhile, its MRO facility at Hosur near Bangaluru, is already being considered for larger business jets like the Global Express or Gulfstream G500.

No comments:

Post a Comment