To set up MRO and aircraft engine components facility

India is among the regions being explored to set up an MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul), an aircraft engine components facility and a training centre with an investment of more than $150 million in the next three years by Pratt & Whitney.

Pratt & Whitney is a leading supplier of aerospace engines, space propulsion systems and industrial gas turbines. It is a unit of the United Technologies Corporation (UTC) and has more than 11,000 customers in 198 countries and its large commercial engines serve over 500 customers across 132 nations.

Palash Roy Chowdhury, Managing Director (India), Pratt & Whitney, said that his company was already holding talks with multiple Indian firms, including Tatas and L&T, to set up a joint venture as there would be a huge market here in the coming years with the country poised to become the third largest aviation market. Besides India, the company was also considering a few other Southeast Asian countries for setting up the projects.

Welcoming some of the measures announced in the Union Budget for the aviation sector, he said the company had already begun a ‘due diligence', which was expected to be completed in the next few months. A decision would be taken based on the outcome of due diligence.

An MRO facility alone would be requiring investment close to $100 million. Bangalore and Hyderabad were on the company's radar for the proposed MRO unit.

He said one of the problems in India was there were no significant incentives for starting a new venture. Besides, there were multiple agencies and there was absence of single-window for expediting new proposals. “If the government gives significant tax incentive, we will straightaway set up manufacturing facility”, he added.

2,500 orders

At present, the company has 2,500 orders for its latest PurePower 1,000G engine and close to 450 of them were from India (300 engines for Indigo's A320 neo family and 144 for GoAir's A320 neo family).

He said that around $1 billion was spent in developing the engine which would result in 15-20 per cent saving of the fuel. That was big news in a country where the airlines were operating with razor-thin margins. It would also reduce aircraft noise footprint by 50-75 per cent.