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Airbus names component manufacturing partner in Vietnam
Publication Date : 24-04-2014
The Japan-invested Nikkiso Vietnam was selected to be Airbus's first-ever component manufacturer in Vietnam, according to an announcement made by the airline in the capital yesterday.
This company will be responsible for the manufacture of composite components for fuel-saving Sharklets, the new 2.4-metre-high wingtip devices, which contribute to a significant reduction in fuel burn of around 4 per cent by ensuring better air flow at the end of the wings.
Sharklets have been available as an option on the current A320 models since 2012 and will be fitted as standard on the latest version, A320neo, which is set to enter service by the end of next year.
According to Jean-Francois Laval, the executive vice president of Airbus Asia, the lightweight composite parts, including interior spares and outer panels, will be produced from raw materials at the Nikkiso Vietnam factory in the northern Hung Yen Province's Thang Long Industrial Park 2, under sub-contract with the Korean Air Aerospace Division, which is the major Sharklet supplier of Airbus.
Production in Vietnam was expected to commence before the year-end, initially generating 50 local jobs, he stated, adding that with over 4,000 A320 Family currently on order for future delivery, the facility can be assured of a long and steady stream of work in the coming years.
He pointed out that over the past 20 years, the aviation industry in Vietnam has experienced an extremely robust growth in line with the economic success of the country.
Vietnam Airline General Director Pham Ngoc Minh also shared the same viewpoint. He emphasised that the domestic aviation market has become attractive not only to domestic, but also to more than 50 international airlines, thanks to its significant growth over the past.
He further added that the market has also witnessed the participation of companies supplying aviation-related services, such as manufacturing and aircraft repair.
Meanwhile, the Vietnamese government has also regarded aviation as a key industry and has pledged to create the most favourable conditions for enterprises in the sector to participate in the global chain of supplying aircraft components and maintenance facilities.
Airbus has made its presence felt in Vietnam since the 1990s. At that time, Airbus became the first western-built aircraft type to be operated in the country.