• Mahindra May Start Plane Sales, Manufacturing in India This Year

    The aerospace unit of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd plans to sell planes built by its Australian unit in India this year, a top company executive said. Mahindra may also consider manufacturing the planes in India if sales pick up.

    “We are hoping that (regulatory) approvals will come this year; so once approvals come this year, we will start selling the planes in India,” said S.P. Shukla, chairman, Mahindra Aerospace Pvt. Ltd, part of the $17.8-billion Mahindra Group, at an aerospace summit on Wednesday.

    In 2008, Mahindra bought Australia’s GippsAero, which makes the eight-seater GA8 Airvan close to Melbourne. About 220 of these planes are flying in 30 countries.

    Shukla explained why the plane continues to be made in Melbourne. “In Australia, there was a standard of CASA (Australian aviation regulator); CASA has a reciprocal arrangement with FAA (US aviation regulator) in the US, which has a reciprocal arrangement with Europe. And therefore, it makes sense if you have approvals in Australia to continue assembling in Australia,” he said.

    The next step could be to make in India.

    “After we start selling the plane in India, we will definitely look at the possibility of making also,” he said, adding some parts of the plane were already made in Bengaluru and supplied to the Melbourne facility.

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