Johannesburg: Low-cost air carrier Indigo’s $15.6 billion order for 180 Airbus 320 aircraft will result in substantial business for two South African air component suppliers.
South Africa’s Aerosud and Cobham-Omnipless will supply some of the components for the new eco-efficient Airbus A320s.
Linden Birns, a spokesman for Airbus Sub-Saharan Africa, said the IndiGo order -- the largest contract ever awarded in the aviation industry’s history in terms of the number of aircraft -- would particularly benefit South Africa’s Aerosud, which is the exclusive supplier of the A320’s ‘flap-track cans’, which are essential wing components housing the mechanisms that drive the wing flaps.
Aerosud also manufactures the A320’s avionics bays, which house and shield the aircraft’s “brains”.
Cobham-Omnipless supplies satellite communications antennae for Airbus jetliners and the Indigo order will result in substantial business for it as well.
Earlier, Indigo co-founders Rakesh Gangwal and Rahul Bhatia said the order would not only enable the company to cater to growing air passenger traffic in India, but would also improve the environmental performance and reduce the operating costs of the company.
“This order for industry-leading fuel-efficient aircraft will allow IndiGo to continue to offer low fares and positions IndiGo to take full advantage of predicted growth in Indian air travel,” Gangwal said.
Airbus signed 4 billion rand-worth of new contracts last year with South African aerospace companies for the design and manufacture of key components of its A320 and A350 aircraft over the next decade.
Airbus’ vice-president of international cooperation, Simon Ward, said Airbus is committed to South Africa and considers the country a strategic industrial partner for its range of commercial aircraft and A400M military transport aircraft.