Make in India, Fly the World: Global Airlines Soar on Indian Wings

A host of Indian companies are making critical parts which are not only making flying easier across the world but also safer. The two largest aircraft manufacturers in the world – Boeing and Airbus – are sourcing aircraft parts from Indian companies.

Ashwini Phadnis
New Update
Aviation industry

Make in India Flies Global Airlines

Listen to this article
0.75x 1x 1.5x
00:00 / 00:00

By Ashwini Phadnis

The next time you take a flight in India or abroad when your plane takes off and lands safely do not forget to say thank you to a host of Indian companies which made your journey safer.

These companies are making critical parts which are not only making flying easier across the world but also safer. The two largest aircraft manufacturers in the world – Boeing and Airbus – are sourcing aircraft parts from Indian companies.

This is no small achievement given that in 2023 Boeing produced 1456 aircraft including 987 of the Boeing 737 family of aircraft and 313 of the 787 Dreamliner family of aircraft. 

In 2022 Airbus delivered 661 aircraft which included 516 Airbus A-320 family of aircraft and 60 Airbus 350 family of aircraft. All these aircraft had parts produced in India.

Indian manufacturers of aircraft parts were  in the news recently when Bengaluru based Dynamatic ded to the list of parts that it produces for Boeing and Airbus when it signed a deal with the seller of the largest number of civilian aircraft, Airbus, to provide all the four doors required on a narrow-body Airbus A-220 aircraft.


Union Civil Aviation Minister, Jyotiraditya M Scindia,  who was present for the exchange of agreements, said this was the largest Indian export order for aircraft doors. The Minister added that this was the second order for aircraft  doors, with Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL) bagging one earlier. Last year, Airbus had awarded the contract for manufacturing bulk and cargo doors of the A320 family of aircraft to TASL.


Dynamatic’s contract for the doors includes manufacturing detailed parts components, which will create downstream opportunities for the other Indian suppliers.


In addition, the company also produces Flap Track Beams (FTB)  for the Airbus A-330 family and is a Tier 2 supplier for the assembly of FTBs for the Airbus A320 family (Wings).


The flaps on the wings are instrumental in controlling the speed, direction and balance of the aircraft, and move along high tech guide rails known as the Flap-Track-Beams. These Flap-Track-Beams are Class-1 Flight Critical Assemblies that are connected to the wings.


Apart from this the company also makes detailed parts for wings and fuselage sections as both a T1 and T2 supplier. Dynamatic Technologies has also partnered with Airbus’ Tier-1 supplier Spirit Aerosystems for the assembly of FTBs for the A320 family.


The US based Federal Aviation Administration refers to any part, assembly, or installation containing a critical characteristic whose failure, malfunction, or absence could cause (1) a catastrophic failure resulting in loss or serious damage to the aircraft, or (2) an uncommanded engine shutdown resulting in an unsafe condition.

Dynamatic, however, is not the only Indian company making aircraft components.

Karnataka-based Aequs is a key supplier of parts used in commercial aircraft worldwide. For Airbus, the company provides detailed parts, both hard and soft metals for wing and fuselage sections and forgings and structural assemblies for the wing and fuselage sections. For both these Aequs is a Tier 1 and Tier 2 supplier to Airbus.


Aircraft parts suppliers are categorised as Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers. A Tier I supplier to  Airbus is the sole supplier globally for a particular product while a Tier II supplier is among many global suppliers making the same part, says a source in the company. As for Boeing, sources say Tier I suppliers directly supply the parts to the company, while Tier II outfits are indirect suppliers to Tier I suppliers.


Hyderabad based Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited (TBAL),  produces 777 uplock boxes, which are metallic structures that house the landing gear in retraction, as well as 777 vertical fins, which are structures designed to reduce aerodynamic side slips and provide direction stability.


In addition, there are hundreds of  Micro Small and Medium Enterprises involved in making aircraft parts such as winglets.

In November last year, Aequs Pvt. Ltd.,  secured a contract with Airbus  for supply of critical components for the A320, A330neo and A350 aircraft over an extended period.

This  award marked a  milestone not only for Aequs, but also for the Indian aerospace industry, showing the country’s growing significance as a global aerospace manufacturing hub, deepening Airbus’ Make in India drive.

In January this year, Mahindra Aerostructures Pvt Ltd (MASPL) and Airbus Aerostructures GmbH  signed a new contract for the manufacture and delivery of metallic components for all Airbus commercial aircraft models, including the best-selling A320 family. Under the contract, MASPL will supply close to 5000 varieties of metallic components to Airbus in Germany from its manufacturing base in India. MASPL is already supplying products to Airbus.

Tata Advanced Systems claims that it drove the shift from traditional titanium floor beams to composite floor beams for the Boeing 787 aircraft and has delivered over 30,000 parts apart from fabricating underwing and overwing components.

It has also been involved with producing flight critical wing structural components of Aileron (which help turn the aircraft left or right) and Sharklet panels (at the end of both wings which help in deflecting air giving a little extra fuel economy and Trailing edge panels wing which are a part of the Airbus A 320 aircraft. Besides it is also providing critical leading edge wing components including stiffeners, longerons, leading and trailing edge panels, front spars, straps and out board flaps  to the Airbus A350 global supply chain. 

Explaining further, Captain P P Singh, Type Rating Examiner A330, US Bangla Airlines says, “Primary controls are used to safely control and manoeuvre the aircraft and consist of elevators, ailerons, and rudders. Movement of primary controls causes the aircraft to rotate around the corresponding axis of rotation. The elevators control rotation around the pitch axis, ailerons control the rotation around the longitudinal axis (roll or bank) and the rudder controls the rotation around the vertical axis (yaw). These rotations are not independent of one another and require blended control inputs to maintain coordinated flight without slipping or skidding. This coordination can be provided manually by the pilots, automatically by the flight control systems, or a combination of both.

Secondary controls are intended to improve the aircraft’s performance and stability and consist of spoilers and trim systems such as the horizontal stabilizer. Secondary controls also include high-lift devices like Flaps and Slats, which are used to optimize the take-off and landing performance characteristics of the aircraft. Spoilers are panels on the upper surface of the wing, which increase drag and decrease lift when deflected upwards. They are used to reduce speed or increase the rate of descent when needed. In addition, asymmetrical deflection of spoilers is also used to augment roll control when used in coordination with the ailerons. The horizontal stabilizer is used to augment pitch authority and reduce load on the elevators.

 High-lift devices are also classified as secondary flight controls. The most common high-lift devices are flaps and slats, but modern airliners like the A350 also use boundary layer control by combining flight control movements. Flaps are attached to the trailing edge of the wing and deflect downwards to increase lift during take-off and landing. Slats are curved leading-edge devices that are mounted flush against the wing leading edge. For take-off, landing, or low-speed flight, the slats move forward and downwards to create a slot which energises the airflow layer over the wing. The slats generally move in harmony with the flaps to increase lift and enable low-speed flight for take-off and landing.”

Air India as a part of its 470 aircraft order is to get 40 Airbus 350 family of aircraft including 34 Airbus 350-1000 and six Airbus A-350-900 widebody aircraft. The first of the A-350 has joined the fleet and is flying domestically before Air India uses it on long haul flights.

In addition, Wipro Infrastructure Engineering’s Strut assemblies are used for the  737 MAX and 737 next generation aircraft (more commonly referred to as the Boeing 737 NG). Struts are used for purely structural reasons to attach engines, landing gear and other loads.

Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited also produces the uplock box for the Boeing 777 aircraft landing which consists of a hydraulically actuated mechanical hook system that latches the landing gear in place and unlocks the landing gear during landing so it can be deployed.

India companies’ association with manufacture of aircraft parts has a long history. In  1992  the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) started supplying forward passenger front doors to Airbus for the A-320 aircraft. These  aircraft  are flown by IndiGo which has an over 60 per cent domestic market share. Air India also operates this variety of aircraft and the now defunct Go First also operated the Airbus 320 aircraft.

While to a layman providing doors for an aircraft may sound like a  simple tooling job which anyone can carry out, do keep in mind that the door has to open and shut several times during the life cycle of the aircraft after having flown at high altitudes where there is immense pressurisation on the door.  

Former government employees associated with the Ministry of Civil Aviation say that the real breakthrough in Indian manufacturers becoming global manufacturers for Boeing and Airbus came in 1997 when India and the United States signed a Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA).

After thorough scrutiny of the capabilities of the Indian aviation watchdog, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the US agencies certified that the certification given by DGCA for what had been produced in India was up to global standards.


BASA facilitated reciprocal airworthiness certification of civil aeronautical products imported/exported between the two signatory authorities. Indian standards were seen as  comparable to global standards and its aeronautical products would be accepted by the US.


This led to huge benefits for all the concerned parties. It  demonstrated that India had the capability to develop FAA certifiable aircraft articles/appliances. This also led to encouragement for the civil aeronautical products industry.

When BASA was signed it was expected that it will encourage indigenous aircraft and aeronautical products industry in India and the US acceptance of Indian products will help their global acceptance. It would lessen the economic burden imposed on the aviation industry and operators by redundant technical inspections, evaluations and testing. 

However, despite this certification,  Boeing and Airbus still carry out additional checks before giving their nod to allow an Indian company to produce a part for their aircraft.


It is only natural that with so many Indian companies involved in helping Airbus and Boeing produce their entire range of aircraft, investments – and profits – cannot be far.


Rémi Maillard, President and Managing Director, Airbus India and South Asia, said recently that Airbus currently procured goods and services worth $750 million annually from India, which will touch $1.5 billion in the coming years.


Similarly, Boeing claims to be by far the largest foreign Original Equipment Manufacturer  (OEM) in terms of sourcing from India, with over $1 billion annually through its large and growing network of over 300 supplier partners, with over 25 per cent  MSMEs, that form an integral part of its global supply base. Further, according to Boeing, India plays a critical role in its global supply chain network as it has the ability to localize maintenance services, industry capabilities, and a technically qualified workforce.


 Given the progress that India has made in the information technology space both the aerospace giants also have their Research and Development Centres in India.


Boeing currently employs over 6,000 people in India, and more than 13,000 people work with its supply chain partners. The Boeing India Engineering & Technology Centre (BIETC) in Bengaluru and Chennai undertakes complex advanced aerospace work and supports Boeing’s global engineering growth. Boeing’s wholly owned engineering and technology campus, one of the largest Boeing investments outside the US, is coming up in India.


Together with its supply chain, Airbus supports nearly 10,000 jobs in India. By 2025, this number should rise to about 15,000.


Airbus has an engineering centre in Bengaluru. And with the huge HR potential that exists in the country and its IT talent, this will be an active part in the development of the next generation zero-emission aircraft.


According to Maillard, India has immense human competencies and engineering and IT talent pools and is thus poised to play an  active part in the development of the next generation zero-emission aircraft. He added that  the Airbus engineering centre in Bengaluru is already contributing to the ZEROe project.


ZEROe aircraft will emit no CO2 into the atmosphere during both energy production and aircraft operations. 

Aeqeus ZEROe TBAL BIETC Dynamatics A-320 Airbus Tata Directorate General of Civil Aviation Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement Indian Aerospace Industry