European aircraft manufacturer Airbus opened a logistics center in Dubai on April 29 to serve fast-growing Middle East carriers, including Dubai-owned Emirates airline. "You know who are the customers in the Middle East," Airbus Chief Executive Officer Thomas Enders said during the inauguration of the center located in the airport free zone in Dubai, a member of the United Arab Emirates.
"Emirates has ordered 58 A380 aircraft. That's a lot and one of the reasons why this spares centre idea makes a lot of sense, to be close to our most important customer for the A380" superjumbo, he said.
Airbus, a unit of European aerospace giant EADS, said the Material and Logistics Centre gives it "greater proximity to valuable customers and facilitates a quicker and more reactive response to their needs." The center "will stock more than 5,000 different parts with around 43,000 items in at any one time," offering support around the clock, it said.
In November, Emirates, the Middle East's largest carrier, placed a $20.2 billion order for 70 Airbus A350s and 11 A380s.
Airbus also received a letter of intent from DAE Capital, a subsidiary of public company Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, to buy 100 aircraft -- 70 Airbus A320s and 30 A350s -- for $13.5 billion.
Qatar Airways, another fast-growing airline, is also a major Airbus customer.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008