Airbus has doubled down on its response to the COVID-19 crisis in India, delivering more than 36 tonnes of additional medical equipment to the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) and deploying humanitarian flights to move supplies from abroad as well as within the country.
Airbus is delivering oxygen plants, ventilators, oxygen concentrators, BPAP breathing machines and mobile intensive care units (ICUs), further boosting its individual contribution to the global humanitarian effort to tackle the second wave of COVID-19 infection in India.
Airbus Delivery in Test Flight
An A350 test aircraft delivered a part of the consignment comprising oxygen concentrators and ventilators from Toulouse, France, on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. The remaining materials are sourced from India.
The latest mission is part of a second tranche of support to the country.
The Company has already contributed with funds to a consolidated response coordinated by the French embassy in India, which included the delivery of eight large oxygen generators, ventilators, electric syringe pumps, anti-bacterial filters and patient circuits as part of a 28-tonne consignment.
Much of the equipment has been deployed, and it is helping save hundreds of lives across India.
Partnering with India
“Airbus stands behind India in solidarity and service. Our focus is to support not only our employees, customers, and partners but also as many people of India as we can,” said Rémi Maillard, President and MD of Airbus India and South Asia.
“This is our common fight against the virus and we are committed to doing our best to help in these challenging times for India and the world.”
The latest contribution from comprises two oxygen generator plants, 250 oxygen concentrators, 30 ventilators, 100 BPAP breathing machines and four ICUs-on-wheels.
The company said it is working with the Indian government and the IRCS, the nodal agency for handling of international aid, to ensure the smooth deployment of the materials.
Helicopters Moving Aid
Additionally, the Airbus Foundation is in touch with international and Indian NGO partners to support any need for transportation of relief materials from Europe. The Foundation has also secured helicopter flight hours to move aid within India.
“The crisis is still unfolding. Its fallout will have to be managed over the coming many months,” Mr. Maillard said.
“Our Indian NGO partners are already evaluating the knock-on impact of the crisis on livelihoods and children’s education. We will expand support to them to meet the additional challenges.”
The aircraft manufacturer said it plans to ramp up production, saying it sees a recovery to pre-pandemic levels of demand by 2025. The world’s largest planemaker said it would increase output of its A320neo by more than 10%, from 40 planes a month to 45 by the end of this year.
It has also set a new target of 64 planes a month by the second quarter of 2023.
“The aviation sector is beginning to recover from the COVID-19 crisis,” said chief executive Guillaume Faury.
The move by the planemaker comes at a time when airlines are still struggling to remain financially viable.
Restrictions on international travel because of the coronavirus crisis have reduced flights to a bare minimum.
Despite this, the planemaker is looking ahead. It says it expects the commercial aircraft market to recover to pre-COVID levels between 2023 and 2025, led by single-aisle aircraft, which typically carry 200-250 passengers and fly on shorter routes.
The company said it would step up production of its A350 family of planes from five a month to six by autumn 2022.
Airbus said it also envisages it will start producing 14 of its A220 airliners every month within the next five years. The current monthly production rate is five, which it said would increase to six early next year.