European aircraft manufacturer Airbus and US-based Boeing, which have already together secured orders worth Rs 45,000 crore from state-run Air-India and Indian Airlines, apart from huge orders from other Indian airline operators in the past two years, are both fine-tuning their business strategies to penetrate further into the Indian aviation market.
For one, the two companies are highlighting new innovations in their aircraft to woo customers. Dinesh Keskar, senior vice-president of sales, Boeing, said, “We will be launching 747-Intercontinental, an aircraft which guarantees fuel efficiency. Our customers, especially Indian operators from whom we expect more orders, will be benefited.” He added that the aircraft, equipped with modern technology, can land even at airports devoid of modern infrastructure, as is the case with many airports in India. Airbus’ innovation pertains to lower training period and transition time. Aircraft from the A320 family are designed in such a way that a pilot transitioning from an A320 family aircraft to the larger A330 and A340 needs only eight working days for cross-crew qualification (CCQ) instead of the 25 working days for a full type rating training course. “The annual savings in training and from the reduced transition time can be up to $500,000 for each new Airbus aircraft to be added to the fleet,” Sanjay Kumar, a senior analyst with Airbus, said.