Mallya, EADS In Talks About Bizjet: Indian Press

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The Economic Times of India says Indian airline tycoon Vijay Mallya is in talks with EADS Socata to develop a business jet that would be manufactured in India. The newspaper says EADS Socata spokesman Phillipe de Segovia has confirmed that the discussions are taking place and they are not exclusive to Mallya and his group. "We want to look at a global organisation that has service centres in place with tools to market in the country," de Segovia told the Times. Although Mallya declined comment to the Times, the $200 million reportedly pledged to fund the EADS jet joint venture is the same figure cited when Mallya announced his investment in Epic Aircraft at last year's National Business Aviation Association convention in Atlanta. Epic CEO Rick Schrameck responded somewhat cryptically to AVweb's request for comment through his Marketing Coordinator Alice Myers. "He said you should know better than to believe anything you read in the Indian Press," Myers said in an e-mail to AVweb, but she did not elaborate.

According to the Economic Times, EADS has been looking for a business jet partner for at least three years and held discussions with Dallas-based IndUS, which makes single-engine certified and light sport aircraft. Socata recently announced it's considering building an eight-seat twin-engine business aircraft. It says it hasn't decided whether it will be a turboprop or turbofan.