From THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, December 04, 2001


Canadian aircraft co plans touchdown in India

Ashwini Phadnis


THE Canadian diversified and business major, Bombardier International, is to announce a strategic decision regarding India in the next 6 to 12 months, the companys President and Chief Operating Officer, Mr Robert Greenhill, has said.

The Corporation is likely to make a strategic decision regarding India in the next 6-12 months. The company is looking at a wide variety of options. However, it would be premature to say anything right now, Mr Greenhill told Business Line when asked whether the company plans to invest in India.

Bombardier is the worlds leading manufacturer of business jets, regional jets, rail transportation equipment and motorised recreational products. The company generates more than 90 per cent of its revenue, pegged at $10,705 million, from outside Canada.

On his maiden visit to the country, Mr Greenhill said the trip was primarily to listen and learn. I am not in the country to sell aircraft but to learn of the opportunities which exist, Mr Greenhill said.

While admitting that Bombardier officials would be meeting with several people during the visit, officials refuse to state whether they would interact with aviation companies in the public and private sector.

The product range of the Canadian company include 50-70 seater aircraft. While Indian Airlines (IA) is looking to induct such aircraft into its fleet, Jet Airways (JA) is already operating ATR- 72 aircraft. Similarly, Sahara Airlines is also looking at launching a feeder airline with small aircraft

Commenting on the companys future in the aftermath of the incidents of September 11, Mr Greenhill said Bombardier had performed well particularly in the US. The post-September 11 period has been tough for the industry. But we have managed to do slightly better than the rest, Mr Greenhill said.

Airline companies decided to replace the aircraft being operated on several sectors with the regional jets, thereby helping the company do better than most aircraft manufacturers.

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