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KAI Wins US$1.22 Billion Airbus Wing Parts Contract
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South Korean aerospace company Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. (KAI) said Tuesday it has won a US$1.22 billion contract to exclusively supply wing parts to Europe's Airbus SAS.

The contract, signed in France late Monday, calls for the building of wing bottom panels (WBP) for the very popular A320 passenger jets and marks the single largest civilian aircraft components deal won by a local company.

KAI said it will supply the panels for the duration of the aircraft's production that may extend to 2025, with the first delivery to be made in 2014.
The company based in Sacheon, 430 kilometers southeast of Seoul, said if Airbus decides to extend A320 production until 2030, the contract will grow to around $1.7 billion.

There are currently 4,000 twin-engine A320 series planes in operation with 200 airlines around the world and outstanding orders exceeding 7,000 planes. Annual production of short and medium-haul planes that seat between 124-175 passengers could reach around 500 per year.

KAI, which won a $600 million wing top panel supply contract for the A320 from Airbus last year, said the latest deal could raise the company's global competitiveness as a supplier of civilian aircraft parts.

The company, meanwhile, said that it is aiming to secure orders worth 5.4 trillion won ($4.8 billion) this year. Of the total, 65 percent or 3.5 trillion won is expected to come from the civilian sector.

In 2011, sales of parts for civilian aircraft reached 859.0 billion won, up nine-fold from just 98.3 billion won in 2000.

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Source: Yonhap News (Mar. 20, 2012)

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