Trade mission to India aids local company to soar

Friday, August 2, 2019

A recent trade mission to India has helped a local aircraft manufacturer to clinch a R50 million contract.

The Department of Trade and Industry’s (dti) Outward Selling Mission (OSM) undertaken in the cities of New Delhi and Mumbai last month has helped Mpumalanga’s Bat Hawk Aircraft to clinch a R50 million contract to supply 200 aircrafts to India over the next three years.

On Thursday, Chief Executive Officer of Bat Hawk, Terrence Pappas, indicated that the contract had been in the making for over three years.

“Previous discussions over three years were basically kicked-off with a commitment for ten aircraft which we were scheduled to sign on the margins of the recent OSM. Then with the help of the dti, the South African High Commission in India and the Confederation of Indian Industry, we succeeded in signing a contract to supply 200 Bat Hawk Aircrafts to Max Adventure Sports in India,” said Pappas.

Bat Hawk Aircraft designs and manufactures Light Sport Aircraft surveillance aircrafts primarily for surveillance and conservation purposes.

The aircrafts are supplied as a complete ready to fly aircraft and feature a strut-braced high-wing, a two-seats-in-side-by-side configuration open cockpit, fixed tricycle landing gear and a single engine in tractor configuration.

Pappas added that the signing of the contract would be followed by a site visit that will be undertaken by Max Adventure Sports to their factory in Mpumalanga, to finalise details of the contract.

The contract to supply the aircraft will also help the company to create jobs.

“The contract to supply 200 units that we signed will definitely lead to creation of more jobs at our factory, especially in the manufacturing side of things. The huge advantage of manufacturing the aircraft in South Africa is the cost of our local aluminium and we source that locally.”

“In terms of the company it will be quiet easy especially considering most of the labour for the aircraft goes into the installation of the engine and the wiring. There will be 100% job creation in our factory on the raw material side,” said Pappas.

The dti-led OSM comprised of 27 South African businesses with specialisation in agro-processing, defence and electro-technical sectors, and with a specific aim to showcase locally manufactured value-added products and services in India. –