Air Transport World

Maintaining the status quo: India's domestic MRO industry remains tiny despite the rapid growth of its airlines.(MRO)

IN TERMS OF AIRLINE PASSENGER traffic, India has been among the fastest-growing markets in the world for about three years. The large number of first-time air travelers in a country of a billion people has translated into a spurt in the nation's aircraft base. But when it comes to key infrastructure to support that growth, such as maintenance, repair and overhaul, the industry has yet to catch up with reality. Despite many plans having been announced, national carrier Air India is the only airline with a comprehensive MRO unit. Even with a captive market provided by about 10 domestic carriers, not a single third-party MRO of any significant size has opened for business. As of now, aircraft owned by the private airlines mostly are sent abroad for major checks.


As a spur to attract investment in the area, the Indian government in February amended its policy to allow 100% foreign direct investment in MRO businesses. The move, part of a slew of measures to lower barriers to doing business in the country, was met with some criticism from domestic players who feared they could be swamped by the big guns even before they achieved the scale needed to compete against the global MRO powerhouses. No major investment plans have been announced since the policy change was revealed. …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.