Airbus SE poised to sign helicopter deal with India amid Emmanuel Macron’s India visit

Airbus SE is on the verge of finalising an agreement to establish an assembly line for helicopters in India amid French President Emmanuel Macron’s Republic Day visit to the country, Bloomberg reported. The deal is expected to be signed while Macron is in India, sources told the publication.

The agreement entails Tata Advanced Systems in India overseeing the production of H125 civil helicopters, the sources said. Airbus did not respond to queries.

Track | Republic Day 2024 LIVE Updates here

Airbus and Tata already have multiple agreements in place. Recently, Tata Advanced Systems announced an agreement to manufacture and supply components to Airbus for commercial jets such as the A320 and the A350. Additionally, the Indian company will assemble the Airbus C295 military transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force.

Sources said an official announcement of the deal could take place on January 26 after Macron completes his participation in the Republic Day parade in New Delhi alongside Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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President Macron, accompanied by a delegation that includes Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury, Safran SA CEO Olivier Andries, and the heads of electricity utility EDF SA and Dassault Aviation SA, landed in Jaipur on January 25.

The relationship between France and India has been steadily strengthening, with a 25-year plan aimed at deepening cooperation in defence, nuclear energy, and space, the report said. Last year Modi attended Bastille Day celebrations in France, where he unveiled plans to acquire three additional submarines from France’s Naval Group and 26 marine Rafale fighter jets from Dassault Aviation SA.

Initiatives Announced for Students

Earlier in the Day, Macron took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to announce that France plans to welcome 30,000 Indian students to the country. He added that the country will open new pathways for students, and also facilitate visa processes for Indians who have once studied in the country.

Stating his goal of welcoming 30,000 Indian students in France in 2030, Macron called it a “very ambitious target”, adding that he is “determined to make it happen”. He also outlined how the goal will be met.

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“We are launching new pathways to learn French in public schools with the initiative “French for All, French for a Better Future”. We are developing the network of Alliances françaises, with new centres to learn French. We are creating international classes which will allow students, who do not necessarily speak French, to join our universities. Last, but not least, we will facilitate the visa process for any former Indian students who studied in France,” the statement read.

He also extolled the benefits of students choosing France. “Coming to France means looking for excellence. We have now 35 universities in the QS ranking and about 15 in the Times higher education ranking. India and France have so much to do together, now and in the future. We will achieve this with you, our young people, in exchange and cooperation, in trust, in friendship!” he wrote.

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Published: 26 Jan 2024, 02:23 PM IST

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