Airbus looking for manufacturing joint venture in the Middle East
Airbus is in discussions with prospective partners in the Middle East to set up regional joint ventures for parts manufacturing and services.
Airbus’ Middle East president Habib Fekih said the objective was to develop low-cost efficient parts. “We will set up joint ventures when it suits both partners. Currently, we are in discussions to set up joint ventures in Dubai, Libya and Egypt,” he said without giving any specific details about the nature of the projects and partners.
Sources have indicated that the manufacturer’s Dubai venture could be a parts manufacturing facility.
While last summer, Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Aerospace signed an agreement with the airframer’s parent EADS for a composite aerostrucutres plant.
“The setting up of more joint ventures means that our goal of internationalisation is a reality and not a gimmick,” said Feikh. And he expects the deals to be finalised by the end of the year.
During 2009 Airbus received 239 orders from the MENA region with a book value of $35-billion, while delivering 25 aircraft.
Feikh expects to sell around 100 aircraft in the region during 2009, but adds that the manufacturer would be boosting deliveries to 58 aircraft in 2009. Feikh said that the decline was expected following two years of exceptionally high demand from local carriers.
"The airlines had decided to renew their fleet in 2006 to 2008. Now its over and you can't expect the year to repeat the same number of orders," he said.
“We are optimistic about the long-term prospects of the industry. As most of the aircraft on order from the region are scheduled for delivery after 2011, I do not think there would be any rethinking over orders that have been placed already,” added Feikh.
Airbus delivered 483 aircraft in 2008, including 386 A320 Family aircraft, 85 A330/A340 and 12 A380s. With sales of 777 worldwide.