One of the world's largest aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) companies is open to set up shop in the country by forming a joint venture (JV) with an Indian firm.
US-based StandardAero, which currently runs 55 MRO facilities in 13 countries, will make the decision after gauging the engine workload at Safran's proposed facility in Hyderabad, said Tayeb Bouhassis, regional sales director (airlines & fleets), StandardAero, while speaking at industry event 'Aero MRO 2023' on Tuesday.
Last year, French engine manufacturer Safran had said that it would establish its largest MRO facility for commercial aircraft engines in Hyderabad by 2025. All major Indian airlines use engines manufactured by CFM, which is a 50:50 joint venture between Safran and US-based General Electric.
Despite ranking as the third-largest global aircraft buyer, approximately 92 per cent of India's engine MRO business is outsourced to other nations.
"This (MRO JV in India) is something that we have in mind; not probably in short-term but more mid- and long-term," said Bouhassis. In 2022, StandardAero had clocked a turnover of more than $4 billion.
The company needed to first ascertain the volume that Safran's proposed facility will handle "to know if a joint venture here would make sense for us so that we can have a portion of that volume," Bouhassis said.
India stands out as a major purchaser of aircraft, with major domestic airline operators such as Air India and IndiGo placing two of the world's largest aircraft orders with Airbus and Boeing. With this, the Indian MRO industry's total size is expected to grow substantially from about $1.7 billion in 2021 to about $4 billion by 2031.