Airbus to showcase corporate jet in southern Africa for the first time


Airbus will be exhibiting its ACJ319 corporate jet and a C295 military transport aircraft at the Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition next month. It will mark the company’s first corporate aircraft demonstration in southern Africa.

In the past, Airbus has only brought one of its corporate aircraft to Africa, demonstrating an example in Egypt. The Airbus Corporate Jet (ACJ) will be on display at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) show from September 19 to 23 at Waterkloof Air Force Base outside Pretoria. The aircraft in question has been chartered from its customer especially for the event.

Linden Birns, spokesman for Airbus, Sub-Saharan Africa, said that there was “a lot of interest in Africa from the corporate sector” and potential for government contracts. He added that Airbus was keeping tabs on all market opportunities in the region and had recently delivered a corporate jet to a customer in Angola.
“South Africa’s economy is the continent’s most developed, so we see it very much as a potential market,” Flight International quoted Airbus as saying. The company is no doubt keeping an eye on the South African government’s requirement for new VIP aircraft.

Airbus has exhibited its corporate jet lineup around the world this year, and received a handful of orders for its ACJ aircraft. Most recently the company exhibited at the LABACE business aviation show in Brazil and will attend the National Business Aviation Association convention in the United States in late October. In total, more than 170 Airbus corporate jets have been sold.

In addition to the ACJ319, Airbus Military will be exhibiting a C295 belonging to the Ghana Air Force at AAD. Ghana recently took delivery of two C295s, which were ordered in August 2011. Elsewhere on the continent, Algeria operates seven C-295s and Egypt has three flying and recently ordered another three.

Airbus Military in April brought a C295 on a tour of Africa, performing demonstration flights for a number of countries, including South Africa. Airbus Military is proposing the C-295 as a single-platform solution to meet South Africa’s requirements for new surveillance aircraft in order to support national and multi-national peace and humanitarian missions in Africa and its surrounding waters. The South African Air Force is seeking to acquire new maritime patrol aircraft under Project Saucepan.

Airbus Military at the time said it was in discussion with a number of other nations in Africa regarding the C295, with interest from West and East Africa. After its demonstration for the South African Air Force, the C295 departed for Lesotho, Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, Entebbe and Gabon.