Aircraft manufacturer Airbus plans to incorporate "healthier' changes in the aircraft design to combat COVID-like viruses, executive vice president engineering Jean-Brice Dumont told
CNBC-TV18 in an exclusive interview.
"There will be changes for sure. Safety was key for decades, security became very important over last 10-20 years and now it is health. Health has been a key priority. We definitely need to think of improvements to be much more resilient to COVID-19 or other viruses in future. We need to think design of our next aircraft differently," Dumont said.
"We are very committed to ensure confidence or travellers. We have thought of lots of improvements in aircraft design for short to medium term. We have anti-microbial, anti-viral coatings that can be put on anything. We have got easier retrofits, touchless features for lavatories.. We are thinking of healthier design in the longer term," Dumont added.
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While the air in the aircraft is refreshed every 2-3 minutes and there are "hospital-like" filters available in the plane, there is a need to go an extra mile to ensure that the virus does not travel from one country to another, he said.
The Netherlands-based company continues to be bullish on the growth potential of Indian civil aviation market and believes that there is a need for air travel in India.
"We see market, traffic in India more resilient than anywhere in the world. We are dedicated to India’s aviation growth," Dumont said.
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In the current scenario of emerging Indian startups, Airbus, via its BizLab, is keeping a close eye on the startups in digital space. "Collaborations with Indian startups could serve military programs that we are engaged in," he added.
In addition, Airbus is also planning to allocate more responsibilities to its engineering centre in Bengaluru for just the current portfolio of Airbus aircraft but also for its ambitious project of green aeroplanes.
"India is our core market. There are avenues with our current design, with our current aircraft where full design responsibility may be in India. It’s already the case for some parts in India at Bengaluru. We intend to allocate some part of green aircraft work to India," Dumont said.
The zero-emission or green aircraft of Airbus is expected to enter into service by 2035. The three concepts for a Airbus green aircraft rely on hydrogen as a primary power source.
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