AIRBUS REPOSITIONS FOR AFRICA ... Meets Jetliner Delivery Targets For 2016

mikailAs the economic challenges in Africa keep aircraft buyers and manufacturers guessing, the opportunities on the continent are not particularly lost on these players as they keep adjusting to the rhythm. For Airbus, the emerging market is important. And no serious player should keep their eyes off the ball.

So, Airbus recently announced the appointment of Mr. Mikail Houari as President for Africa and the Middle East region. Mikail, who previously served as Deputy President for Africa and the Middle East, brings to the position more than 25 years of experience within the industry at a global level. In his new role, he leads the team to drive operations and future business across the region.

Mr. Houari's previous experience will help him navigate through the deeper reaches of Africa's blooming market. began his career at Alcatel where he worked in Spain, China and Latin America, after which he joined Thales, focusing initially on business in Saudi Arabia, thereafter leading global sales of its SCADA products and services.

He joined Airbus in 2005 as Vice President for Latin America, overseeing the defence and space divisions from where he moved to the UAE in the same capacity covering the Middle East region. In 2011, Mikail was appointed as General Delegate for Airbus Group, before taking the position as Deputy President for Airbus in Africa and Middle East.

"Mikail's extensive business and market experience will allow him to lead Airbus in the region and deliver on its objectives," says Mr. Tom Enders, Chief Executive Officer, Airbus. "Under his leadership, Airbus will continue to expand its regional presence as new and existing markets emerge and evolve across Africa and the Middle East."

Mr. Houari will leverage on the achievements of Airbus to vigorously expand Airbus' footprint in Africa, the last emerging aviation region keenly contested by big and small aircraft manufacturers. Airbus Commercial Aircraft says it was able to meet the 2016 jetliner delivery goals, logged in an order volume, exceeded the year's target and raised backlog to a new industry record.

Mr. Fabrice Brégier, President of Airbus Commercial Aircraft notes that "The record of 688 aircraft deliveries in 2016 confirmed that the company's largest production ramp-up ever is well and truly underway and gathering momentum. For new business logged during the year, the 731 net orders boosted overall backlog to a new industry record of 6,874 as of 31 December, representing approximately 10 years of production at current rates."

Mr. Brégier observes that the Airbus' A330 jetliner has remained very popular with customers as 83 aircraft were ordered in the New Engine Option and Current Engine Option configurations during 2016, with 66 delivered to customers; adding that this includes the first A330 Regional variant.

In Africa, according to a recently released data by Airbus, it recorded an order of 251 aircraft from operators in the region and has so far delivered 205 aircraft to the region, 38 of which is the A330 jetliner. Moreover, the data also shows that within the first quarter of 2017, Airbus recorded delivery of 74 aircraft worldwide, one of which was from an African carrier, Ethiopian Airlines with the delivery of an A350-900 aircraft in January.

Airbus released a 20-year Global Market Forecast 2016-2035, in 2015 adding that the global forecast estimated a global end-fleet of Airbus aircraft by 2035 to be 37,708 aircraft with an estimated 20-year global delivery of 32,428 aircraft. It also forecast 991 aircraft as the 20-year estimated delivery of aircraft to Africa with 1370 as an estimated end-fleet by 2035.

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