Boeing and soon to be privatised Air India Engineering Services Limited (AIESL) on Tuesday, May 10 announced a collaboration for the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of two custom-made B777 aircraft that are used for the travel of the president, the vice-president and the prime minister.
The collaboration between the two companies would also support the Indian Navy’s growing P-8I fleet, their joint statement said. The collaboration would help build indigenous MRO capabilities as it would bring the P-8I landing gear repair and overhaul work to India for the first time, the statement added.
“Our planned collaboration with AIESL could position us to provide significant value-add to our defence customers locally by enabling faster turnaround, exceptional operational capability and mission readiness for the Indian armed forces. This is also an important step as part of our commitment to the Government of India’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat vision of making India a regional MRO hub.”Surendra Ahuja, Managing Director, Boeing Defence India
The two custom-made VVIP aircraft were delivered by Boeing to the Indian government in October 2020. The IAF pilots operate the plane to fly the aforementioned dignitaries.
“Such collaboration would drive forward our vision for strengthening MRO capabilities in India, for India. We remain excited and committed as we provide critical support to India’s armed forces as part of the Boeing India Repair Development and Sustainment (BIRDS) hub initiative.”Sharad Agrawal, CEO, Air India Engineering Services Limited (AIESL)
The hub, according to the Boeing statement, has growing capabilities in India in the area of heavy maintenance, component repair, training and skilling of MRO maintainers. Boeing through BIRDS will offer “training programmes to increase skilled manpower by developing sub-tier suppliers and medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs) to build high-quality MRO capabilities in India”.
Through its MRO facilities in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Thiruvananthapuram, the AIESL offers servicing and maintenance of civilian aircraft operated by domestic and international airlines.