Airbus expects Far East orders for tsunami rescue aircraft
Both Japan and New Zealand have inquired about the A400M to handle humanitarian crises
Sunday 22 May 2011
Far Eastern governments have contacted Airbus about ordering its latest military aircraft, which can cost more than $80m (£49m), to tackle humanitarian crises.
The A400M was originally designed for the defence needs of seven European countries, including the UK, Germany and France. Last year, the governments of those nations agreed a ¤3.5bn (£3.04bn) deal to salvage the much-delayed programme.
The aircraft is extremely flexible. Countries such as Japan and New Zealand have looked at buying it for humanitarian aid and rescue purposes after recent tsunamis and earthquakes. The Britain's Department for International Development (DfID) has also looked at the A400M.
Neighbouring Far Eastern governments are understood to have started looking at the possibility of teaming up in partnerships of two to three to afford the aircraft. There is no fixed cost because different clients have their own specifications, but the cost – tens of millions – puts them out of reach for most humanitarian groups.
At present, the Airbus parent company, EADS, is not officially trying to push A400 sales until 2012. But a soft marketing push, including conference presentations, has started.
Ian Elliott, the head of defence marketing at Airbus Military, said: "There's been quite some interest shown from affiliates of NGOs – government departments, like DfID.
"There has been interest from Far Eastern governments. You've only got to look at the disasters in the area to see how the A400 could help."
Mr Elliott added that the A400 had "enormous potential" in disaster relief, anti-piracy and illegal immigration control. For example, the advanced radar and communication facilities could easily track pirates.
He also confirmed that "informal contacts at mid-level staff levels" had started with some countries. "We will kick-off the export campaign next year," he said. "The full potential of this aircraft will really begin demonstrating itself when entering service."
The first delivery of the A400 is expected to be made to France in 2013. The other four initial clients are Luxembourg, Belgium, Spain and Turkey.
The news comes after a significant week for Airbus. The World Trade Organisation announced that it was partially overturning a 2010 verdict that the European Union had given Airbus $18bn in illegal subsidies to develop the A380 jumbo. Boeing, its US rival, had challenged the subsidies. Confusingly, both sides claimed victory. Airbus's president, Tom Enders, claimed the group had won on "all the key elements" and Boeing's Jim McNerney said it was "a clear, final win" for the US.
Lord Mandelson, the former European trade commissioner, urged the two parties not to continue the seven-year dispute because of the potential threat from emerging economies.
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 5 Denmark bans kosher and halal slaughter as minister says ‘animal rights come before religion’
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Israel-Gaza conflict: The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The missiles were tragically real
Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
Syria conflict: Syrian and Turkish Kurds unite to battle Isis threat - ‘We shoot them like sheep, but next day double the number return’
Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star, dies aged 45
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
iJobs Money & Business
Data Governance Manager (Solvency II) – Contract – Up to £450 daily rate, 6 month (may go Permanent)
£350 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently looking...
£500 - £560 per day: Orgtel: Java Developer FX - Banking - London - Up to £560...
£350 - £400 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...
£26000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Account Manager - (Produc...