S.African aviation firms join forces with Airbus
Two South African aviation companies have signed an agreement with Airbus which will allow them access into larger contracts by the giant European aircraft maker, the firms announced Tuesday.
Airbus said the alliance would enable the state-owned components maker Denel Aerostructures and Aerosud Aviation "to jointly bid for larger scale manufacturing work packages on Airbus commercial airliner programmes" which they used to compete for separately.
Denel Aerostructures, a division of arms manufacturer Denel, supplies the aviation sector with a range of components and engineering solutions.
Simon Ward, Airbus vice-president for international cooperation, described the deal for Denel as a "transition" from military components to commercial aircraft work.
Ward said the two companies would be offered support in making bids to Airbus and to manufacture bigger components.
The South African government hailed the partnership, saying it would give the country a crucial opportunity to "reduce its dependency on military aerospace" and help improve skills development.
Airbus has an order book of nearly 6,000 aircraft, some eight to nine years of output at full production rates.
© 2014 AFP