Air India and Tata Advanced Systems join forces in INR 2300 Crore aerospace and defense venture in Karnataka

Air India Ltd, India’s prominent global airline, and Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL), a leading private sector player in aerospace and defense solutions, have officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Karnataka. This collaboration involves a combined investment of INR 2300 crore in the aerospace and defense sector of the state.

The MoU was formalized in the presence of the Honorable Chief Minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah, Minister for Large and Medium Industries and Infrastructure Development, MB Patil, L. K. Atheeq, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary to Chief Minister, Dr Selvakumar S, IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Commerce and Industries, Smt Gunjan Krishna, IAS, Commissioner for Industrial Development and Director, Department of Commerce and Industries, Mr. Nipun Aggarwal, Chief Commercial and Transformation Officer of Air India, Mr. Sukaran Singh, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Tata Advanced Systems Limited and Mr. Hari Marar, MD and CEO of Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), along with Mr. Satyaki Raghunath, Chief Operating Officer (BIAL) represented their respective companies at the event held at Vidhana Soudha, Bengaluru. 

This strategic partnership aims to bolster the aerospace ecosystem in Karnataka, with an anticipated creation of approximately 1600 direct employment opportunities and over 25000 indirect job opportunities in the state.

Under the terms of the MoU, Air India is set to establish Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) facilities at Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru, operated by Bangalore International Airport Ltd. The MRO facilities will include Airframe Maintenance, starting with the development of Wide-Body and Narrow-Body hangars for comprehensive checks, including heavy structural inspections. This initiative is expected to contribute to the growth of the broader MRO ecosystem in India, generating over 1200 highly skilled employment opportunities in Karnataka. Furthermore, Air India plans to expand its connectivity from Bangalore, enhancing its global reach.

Tata Advanced Systems Limited’s investment will be directed towards diverse endeavors, encompassing the implementation of an Aircraft Modification, Conversion, Completion, and Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) facility for defense purposes. Additionally, TASL will set up an indigenous gun manufacturing facility, including barrel manufacturing, and will engage in Research and Development (R&D) in the aerospace and defense sector. These ventures are projected to generate over 450 highly skilled employment opportunities in Karnataka.

Overall, this collaboration signifies a significant step toward strengthening Karnataka’s position in the aerospace and defense industry, fostering economic growth and employment opportunities in the state.

Honorable Chief Minister Siddaramaiah expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “We are delighted to witness this landmark collaboration between the Tata group companies, Air India and Tata Advanced Systems Limited, and the government of Karnataka. This investment not only propels Karnataka’s aerospace industry to new heights but also augments employment opportunities, thereby contributing to the state’s economic growth.”

Minister for Large and Medium Industries and Infrastructure Development, MB Patil said, “Karnataka continues to lead the way in fostering economic growth and development. This strategic alliance, marked by a cumulative investment of INR 2300 crore, signifies a significant leap forward for Karnataka’s aerospace and defence sector. This collaboration reflects our state’s unwavering commitment to fostering innovation, economic growth, and job creation. We look forward to a prosperous partnership that will not only elevate Karnataka’s global standing but also contribute to the advancement of the aerospace and defence industry in India.”

Mr. Campbell Wilson, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Air India, said, “We are glad to be partnering with the Government of Karnataka. India’s aviation sector is on a growth trajectory and Air India is playing a leading role in this. The agreement with the government and Bangalore International Airport comes at an opportune time and will not only bolster the state’s aviation ecosystem, but also be a step ahead in our mission to become a world-class airline and provide our customers the elevated travel experience that they truly deserve.”

“This initiative by Air India will not only help us become more self-reliant for the maintenance of our own fleet but it also reiterates our commitment to strengthen India’s aviation infrastructure by boosting the growth of the country’s MRO industry,” said Mr. Nipun Aggarwal, Chief Commercial & Transformation Officer, Air India.

Mr. Sukaran Singh, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, TASL, added, “We are pleased to announce the beginning of a long-term partnership with the Government of Karnataka. This milestone marks a significant stride towards bolstering India’s aerospace and defence manufacturing sector.  We believe this will lead to creating opportunities and advancing India’s capabilities in industrial growth including skill development.”

Mr. Hari Marar, Managing Director and CEO, Bangalore International Airport Limited, said, “As we embark on this transformative journey, we are thrilled to announce the collaboration between Air India, Tata Advanced Systems Limited, and Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) to establish an MRO facility at BLR Airport, further solidifying Bengaluru’s status as an aviation hub. This partnership not only underscores BIAL’s unwavering commitment to providing world-class infrastructure but also aligns seamlessly with the Government of India and Ministry of Civil Aviation’s vision to foster multiple aviation hubs across the nation. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Government of Karnataka for their steadfast support and commend Air India and Tata Advanced Systems Limited for choosing BIAL as their partner in this endeavor.”

This partnership marks a significant stride in advancing the progress of the aerospace industry, fostering innovation, and catalyzing economic growth across the region. With BLR Airport evolving into the primary hub for South and Central India, supported by investments in runway expansion and Terminal 2, the Tata Group envisions positioning Air India as a pivotal player in global connectivity. In harmony with the objectives of the Civil Aviation Ministry, this collaboration holds the potential to position India as a vibrant aviation hub. Moreover, it is anticipated that this initiative will create up to 25,000 indirect job opportunities, stimulate economic activity, and strengthen the supply chain for over 200 SMEs in the state.

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