Airbus receives 211 orders and commitments worth US$20.5 billion; SA to benefit


Airbus received 211 orders and commitments at the 12th Dubai Airshow worth US$20.5 billion, which will translate into a steady flow of sustainable work for its South African partners.

Airbus received 135 firm orders worth US$13.7 billion (130 A320neo and five A380s) and 76 memorandum of understanding (MoU) worth US$6.8 billion.

Qatar Airways made the single largest firm order (50 A320neo and five A380s) worth US$6.4 billion at list prices. Firm orders for the A320neo from ALAFCO (50) and ACG (30) worth a combined US$7.3 billion demonstrates the A320neo’s strong investment appeal by lessors.

Spirit Airlines made the largest commitment at the show for 75 A320 Family aircraft (30 A320 with Sharklets and 45 A320neo) worth US$6.7 billion.
‘Comlux The Aviation Group’ signed a commitment for an Airbus ACJ321 – the first placed with Airbus for the type – expanding Airbus’ corporate jet family. This deal, worth US$99.7 million, will make Comlux the first to operate the Airbus ACJ318, ACJ319, ACJ320 and the ACJ321.

John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer, Customers commented: “The order intake at this airshow is the second best we’ve ever had at Dubai. Our A320neo has again been the star of the show. But despite some storm clouds on the horizon there is still strong market demand for fuel-efficient aircraft from airlines and lessors.”

The A320neo is a new engine option for the A320 Family entering into service from 2015 and incorporates latest generation engines and large “Sharklet” wing tip devices, which together will deliver 15 percent in fuel savings. The A320neo has over 95 percent airframe commonality making it an easy fit into existing fleets while offering up to 500 nautical miles (950 kilometres) more range or two tonnes more payload at a given range. By end of the Dubai Airshow sales of the neo have reached 1,420 orders and commitments in less than a year after launch, making it the fastest selling aircraft ever, Airbus says.

Every new order has a positive benefit for Airbus’s South African partners, their employees and their local supply chains. Aerosud supplies a variety of components for the A320 series, which Airbus delivers at a rate of 40 aircraft a month. The Centurion-based company is the exclusive supplier of A320 flap-track cans (housings) and also manufactures the A320 avionics bay racks and sheet metal parts for the wings, as well as supplying parts for other Airbus aircraft like the A350. Cape Town-based Cobham-Omnipless will benefit as it supplies satellite communications antennae for Airbus jetliners.

The continued Airbus-related manufacturing activity supports the South African government’s Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP2), which identifies Aerospace as a strategic industry for development.

In September last year Airbus announced it was committing over R4 billion to industrial and related activity in South Africa over the next 10 years. Of that, R500 million was for work related to the upcoming A350.
“Airbus has always had a unique relationship with South Africa,” Linden Birns, spokesman for Airbus sub-Saharan Africa said. “SAA was one of the first airlines to operate Airbus planes and will soon take delivery of a new fleet of A330-200s. In parallel, Airbus has been forming partnerships, joint ventures and various relationships with South Africa.” This includes research and development, design engineering and manufacturing of components and sub-assemblies for civil and military aircraft.