Announcements, which represent more than $200 million of investment between 2018 and 2025, clearly reflect the Group’s commitment to long-term development in the country
Safran group reaffirmed their commitment to the Government’s ‘Make in India’ policy and sovereignty, announcing their largest-ever MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) facility in Hyderabad with an investment of $150-200 million. Safran also inaugurated Safran Aircraft Engine (SAE) facility, Safran Electric and Power (SEP) facility, located near the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport and announced the Safran IT Digital Transformation Centre (Mumbai) on this occasion.
The event was marked by the presence of Safran’s Global CEO Olivier Andriès, Safran Aircraft Engine’s CEO, Jean-Paul Alary, Telangana’s Ministers K T Rama Rao and Puvvada Ajay Kumar along with other key dignitaries.
Neetu Dhulia of SP’s spoke to Safran’s Global CEO, Olivier Andriès and Safran Aircraft Engine’s CEO, Jean-Paul Alary, exclusively, on this occasion.
Neetu Dhulia (Dhulia) - Tell us about the big announcement?
Olivier Andriès (Andriès) - Today (July 7) and tomorrow (July 8), Safran is inaugurating three new production sites in India. And announcing the construction of our largest MRO facility.
Safran Aircraft Engines (SAE) is co-localised with Safran Electrical & Power (SEP) facility. SAE (15,000 sqm plant) will be producing LEAP rotating seals and will see its full capacity in 2025, with 275 employees and 10,000 parts delivered.
SEP (4,500 sqm facility), is the Indian production facility for electrical harnesses. The facility produces wiring for LEAP, Rafale, FADEC and will be producing for Falcon 10X from 2024.
Safran is also inaugurating its third plant in Bangalore, for Safran HAL Aircraft Engines, a 50/50 joint venture between Safran Aircraft Engines and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
The MRO facility will see its first customer in 2025, bolstering its strategic partnership with the country. Safran has operated in India for 65 years and now counts 10 facilities and 750 employees in the country. These announcements, which represent more than $200 million of investment between 2018 and 2025, clearly reflect the Group’s commitment to long-term development in the country.
Dhulia – How do you perceive India and its civil aviation industry?
Andriès - India is a dynamic aviation market, with 64+ million in 2010 to 167+ million in 2019 passengers per year, air passenger traffic will triple over the next 20 years, and the global fleet is expected to increase by 1,000 aircraft in the next 20 years. We are accelerating our investments and industrial development in India, through the creation of our largest maintenance and repair centre for commercial engines. With our three new production facilities and our major in-house IT centre, we will triple the number of employees in India over the next four years, building on the excellent local talent base.
Dhulia - What are your further plans in India, in sync with the Government of India initiatives?
Andriès - Safran has been a Strategic Partner to India for more than 65 years and a forerunner in developing a local Aerospace ecosystem. Safran is building up an Indian supply chain for LEAP engines as part of the Make in India program and plans $250 million in investment and 2400 high-value employment in the Telangana State in the next few years.
Our MRO facility will be ready to serve its first customer by 2025 and will be able to handle around 300 LEAP engines from India, South-East Asia and the Middle East. Safran is supporting India in its quest for sovereignty and self-reliance on the civil and military sides. About 70% of commercial airlines flying in India are using SAFRAN CFM engines (265+ aircraft powered by CFM engines operated by 7 Indian airlines).
All recurring servicing and repair work for CFM LEAP engines that were going abroad will come back to India. Translates into huge forex savings for the country and more high-value jobs brought back to India.
Neetu Dhulia (Dhulia) - Tell us about the MRO facility in Hyderabad?
Jean-Paul Alary (Alary) - The creation of a new MRO facility for CFM LEAP engines, will be built at the Industrial Park of GMR, where we can also take advantage of the GMR school for upskilling. The largest MRO centre in the network will start operations in 2025 and will eventually offer an 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 aeroplanes deployed by airlines in the Indian sub-continent. More than 1,500 LEAP engines are currently on order in the region.
Our new MRO 4.0 centre in Hyderabad will strengthen our global network and enable us to meet the needs of our CFM customers against a backdrop of booming air traffic in India and the region. We benefit from the fast-growing aviation ecosystem and outstanding competencies in the State of Telangana.
Dhulia- What all innovations are being done keeping ‘Sustainability’ in mind?
Alary- Safran strives to reduce the environmental impact of its operations. The Aircraft Engine facility and the Safran Electric and Power facility in Hyderabad apply Safran’s highest standards in terms of industrial processes, machinery and equipment and sustainability.One-third of electrical power will be provided by solar panels. The upcoming MRO facility will be completely a green project, with 100 per cent harnessing of solar power.
Dhulia - Would these facilities witness a co-development and co-production of the Military Aircraft Engines?
Alary- We plan to make some space at the MRO, for M88, the engine that powers Rafale fighter jets. Maybe sometime in future, we can see the co-production of Military Aircraft Engines.