IndiGo’s parent company, InterGlobe Enterprise, and Canada’s CAE Simulation Training Private Ltd, launch $ 25 million pilot training facility

IndiGo, which has a uniform fleet of Airbus A-320s, on Saturday said it has not yet firmed up plans to buy small planes that would help widen its domestic and regional operations.

“There is certainly a market for smaller aircraft in India. We are looking at it, but at what time we will induct these aircraft, I cannot say,” Rahul Bhatia, Group Managing Director of InterGlobe Enterprise, the parent company of the airline, said.

The Civil Aviation Ministry has called for the acquisition of smaller planes by Indian airlines to serve destinations in Tier-II and Tier-III cities.

Talking to reporters at the launch of an ultra-modern pilot simulator training facility here, Mr. Bhatia said the airline is yet to decide on either the number of such aircraft which need to be purchased or the manufacturer from whom the same are to be acquired.

On the issue of the company going public, the promoter of the airline, which declared a profit of Rs 787 crore last year, said “it is not going to happen tomorrow... May be at some point, although not imminent“.

Meanwhile, asked about high airfares, Mr. Bhatia said that would continue due to rise in input costs, especially with the hike in fuel prices and the weakening of the value of the rupee.

“Airline business is a high-currency business but, at IndiGo, we try to keep the fares low. We plan to keep fares low, fill the planes with passengers and earn profit,” he said.

Responding to the announcements about two new airlines — AirAsia and Tata-SIA — beginning operations in the country, Mr. Bhatia said he was not afraid of competition.

“We welcome the competition. India is an enormously under- served market and there is room for every one to survive,” he added.

Our Special Correspondent adds:

InterGlobe in association with CAE, a provider of modelling, simulation and training for civil aviation and defense, on Friday inaugurated pilot training facility at Greater Noida in the National Capital Region, built with an investment of $ 25 million.

The facility, which has the capacity to train over 5,000 aviation professionals annually, already provides training to IndiGo pilots and will also train GoAir’s A320 pilots starting December 2013.

Mr. Bhatia said, “India is amongst the fastest growing civil aviation markets in the world with a growing need for trained pilots. This centre will help address this requirement.”

The company claimed that the centre with six simulator bays will be the largest such facility in India. This will also be the first centre in India to impart Airbus certified training, it added.

The facility provides "wet" and "dry" type-rating, recurrent, conversion and jet indoctrination training for commercial aircraft pilots, the company said in a statement.

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