Monday, November 26, 2012

■ KENYA: Embraer to open an Authorized Service Facility in Nairobi with Kenya Airways in 2013.

EmbraerEmbraer, the Brazilian regional aircraft manufacturer, has set its sights on Nairobi, Kenya and partner Kenya Airways (KQ) as a potential base for its first Authorized Aircraft Service Facility (AASF) in Africa to be opened in early 2013.

Kenya Airways's latest Embraer E190 in October
KQ's latest Embraer E190 in October
The move comes as various competitors have started looking at setting up their own facilities in Africa, as the African aviation market continues to expand, with an estimated 1'101 aircraft to be needed by the year 2030

We are investing in authorise service centres in Africa like the one that will be opened, hopefully soon, in Nairobi beginning next year,” said Embraer’s Commercial Aviation president and chief executive Paulo Cesar Silva in an interview with the Business Daily on Thursday when the manufacturer delivered an Embraer E-190 to KQ. This was the manufacturer’s 900th delivery. “We don’t know how many people we will have here. It will depend on the business. But definitely it will be a growing business as more and more Embraers fly in Africa,” he said.

Kenya's Transport minister Amos Kimunya has noted that the establishment of an AASF will help support the national carrier in maintenance of the planes by easing the burden of having to ship spare parts and expatriates to Nairobi in repairs. The choice of Kenya Airways as a partner follows the East African carrier increased its order for Embraer's E-190 jets from 16 this financial year to 33, with aims of acquiring 119 by 2021.

Embraer has been on the offensive of late. In September, a contract entitled the "Aldus Aircraft Africa (AAA) Leasing Project" was signed in which the African Development Bank (AfDB), via Ireland's Aldus Aviation, would procure 12 Embraer E170/190 jets for onward placement in six or seven African airlines through an Africa-based leasing facility.