MAJOR WINDFALL FOR SOUTH AFRICA: China Buys $22.8B 140 Airbus Planes During Xi’s German Visit

by Samuel Abasi Last updated on July 25th, 2017,

South Africa’s aerospace industry and economy will reap major direct gains from China’s purchase of 140 aircraft from Airbus in $22.8B deal signed during Chinese President Xi’s visit to Germany. Under an agreement with Airbus, Aerosud, South Africa’s local aircraft component producer, manufactures avionics bays that house and protect the aircraft’s sophisticated control systems. South Africa will also benefit through the BAE Systems-Aerosud strategic alliance. BAE Systems also has a strategic alliance with local aircraft component producer, Aerosud, taking over manufacturing of crucial wing leading-edge parts for the Airbus A320 programme. As a 20% Airbus shareholder, BAE Systems is responsible for designing and supplying wings for all Airbus planes.

As a direct result of collaboration with BAE Systems and Airbus, Aerosud, and South Africa, will benefit from China’s order (and other smaller – but still substantial – orders) for A320 Family jetliners. The A320 Family comprises four similar models (A318, A319, A320 and A321) varying only in passenger, cargo and fuel capacity, length and range.

The BAE Systems-Aerosud strategic alliance forms part of the reciprocal Industrial Participation programme flowing directly from South Africa’s procurement of Hawk and Gripen fighters from the UK defence and aerospace group and its Swedish partner, Saab.

The European aviation group Airbus will deliver in the next few years, 140 aircraft to China. A relevant framework agreement in the amount of $ 22.8 billion (20.1 billion Euro) signed by Airbus and China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CAS) on Wednesday in Berlin. The Airbus chief Executive Tom Enders told journalists in Berlin. China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CAS) is owned by the Chinese government for the procurement of aircraft for Chinese Airlines.

Airbus chief Tom Enders, according to the aircraft manufacturer is also in talks with China about delivery of the widebody aircraft, the A380.

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