Representatives of the French economy were able to get hold of further large orders in the Gulf region on Saturday. As part of the delegation of President Emmanuel Macron, who set out on a two-day trip to the region on Friday, the Paris-based company CFM International signed contracts worth around 11 billion euros with Saudi airlines. On the one hand, Saudi Arabian Airlines has ordered 149 so-called Leap engines for its new fleet of medium-haul aircraft, as if there were 35 Airbus A321neo and 30 of the A320neo. The volume of this order, which includes the maintenance of this and 20 other leased A320neo aircraft, amounts to around 7.5 billion euros.On the other hand, the Saudi low-cost airline Flynas has signed a contract for the maintenance of 160 Leap engines. It affects Flynas' fleet of 80 A320neo aircraft. The volume of this order is just under 3.5 billion euros. CFM International is a joint venture in which the French engine manufacturer Safran and the US conglomerate General Electric each hold 50 percent of the shares.
For Airbus, too, the trip to Saudi Arabia was crowned with success. For example, the aviation group signed a contract with the Saudi company The Helicopter Company (THC) for the delivery of 26 civil helicopters, including 20 of the H145 and six of the H160. The purchase price was not published. For Airbus, it is the second order from THC, backed by the Saudi State Fund and which has a monopoly on commercial helicopter flights in the UK. In August 2020, for example, a contract was signed for the delivery of ten H125 helicopters, which, among other things, should improve access to domestic tourist destinations. In addition, Airbus reached an agreement on Saturday to establish a joint venture with the state arms holding Saudi Arabian Military Industries, or Sami for short.The aim is cooperation in military aviation. Airbus is said to hold 49 percent, Sami 51 percent of the shares. The Saudi capital, Riyadh, is planned to be the seat of the joint venture. It is scheduled to start work in the first quarter of 2022.
The French environmental group Veolia is also moving closer to Saudi Arabia. Among other things, he signed a “strategic partnership agreement” with the Saudi Ministry of Investment, which aims to improve water management. The French are supposed to advise Saudi Arabia on the transport of desalinated seawater to the larger cities and the state oil giant Saudi Aramco on the disposal of toxic waste. For Veolia, world market leader in the field of waste disposal, the contracts are part of the expansion into the region. Thanks to the two-day trip to the Gulf States, France’s industry has additional orders in the mid double-digit billion range.On Friday, the United Arab Emirates signed the order for 80 Rafale fighter jets and twelve Caracal Airbus military helicopters.Keywords: