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    Aviation giant Safran to set up its largest facility for engine maintenance and repair in India

    business | IST

    Aviation giant Safran to set up its largest facility for engine maintenance and repair in India

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    The Indian facility will cater to the engine maintenance for aircraft from all major airlines including IndiGo, Vistara, SpiceJet, GoFirst, Air India, AirAsia India and the upcoming carrier Akasa Air as well.

    Aerospace major Safran has decided to set up its largest facility for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of engines in India. Safran has zeroed on Hyderabad for the mega facility which will be able to service around 300 engines every year.
    The facility situated close to the Hyderabad airport will come into operation in 2025, Safran officials said.
    This is the first facility for engine repair and maintenance in India, and third for Safran globally after France and Mexico.
    The Indian facility will cater to the engine maintenance for aircraft from all major airlines including IndiGo, Vistara, SpiceJet, GoFirst, Air India, AirAsia India and the upcoming carrier Akasa Air as well. Additionally, this facility will also cater to the engine repair requirement for the airlines in South East Asian and Middle East regions, the officials said.
    "Currently there are over 600 CFM56 and LEAP engines in use by various airlines of India. This number will grow to nearly 1,500 in the future," a Safran official said.
    The MRO facility will initially offer annual capacity of 250 to 300 engine shop visits.
    The LEAP and its predecessor, the CFM56, now power over 330 Airbus A320/A320neo and Boeing 737/737 MAX airplanes deployed by
    airlines in the Indian sub-continent. More than 1,500 LEAP engines are currently on order in the region.
    CFM56 engines power A320 and Boeing 737. LEAP engines power A320neo and Boeing 737MAX.
    The Safran Aircraft Engines plant, spanning 15,000 square meters (162,000 sq ft), will make rotating parts for the LEAP engine. This will eventually employ 275 people. Safran Electrical & Power’s plant, located in the same airport zone as the Safran Aircraft Engines plant, makes wiring for LEAP engines and the Rafale fighter. It will employ 200 people.
    On being asked the reason as to why the company chose to set up the MRO facility in India, Safran CEO Olivier Andriès said that the earlier GST regime was not favourable to them but with the recent changes, it now makes economic sense for the company to go ahead with the MRO facility in the country.
    "Tax regime on GST was a problem... We had explained that to the central government. We were taxed twice... It was making it uncompetitive. We told them that if you change the tax regime then we will come. Now, we are going to be taxed once not twice," Andriès said.
    The domestic aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) industry had received a major respite in the month of March when the GST Council decided to lower the rate to 5 percent from 18 percent earlier. The step was directed towards creating a level-playing field for local businesses as compared to overseas MRO companies, who used to attract over 90 percent of business due to lower taxation.
    While the engine repair facility of Safran will become operational in 2025, two other facilities at the Hyderabad campus have already started operating. One of them is for manufacturing rotating parts and the other is for wiring manufacturing. Once manufactured, the rotating parts and the wiring parts are to be shipped to the assembly lines in the US and France.
    Safran further added that the company is going to increase footprint in India as it is a big market for the company. The company has received some support from the government on the capex part.
    "We want to accompany India for growth of commercial aviation market and we want to partner India in 'Make in India' in defence segment," Andriès said.
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