Sunday, September 5, 2010
Hopeful Signs for Struggling Aircraft Company
After years of sluggish business, the air force's aerospace company is landing some big contracts. Enaer signed a $100 million, 10-year contract in August to provide parts for Embraer's Phenom and Legacy business jets. Enaer later won a contract worth up to $700 million over 10 years when it joined a strategic alliance with Embraer to develop and build the new KC-390 transport-tanker. The deals should help Enaer (owned and managed by FACH) emerge from its long slump. It should also result in an order by Chile's air force for about a half-dozen planes. The company last year booked a mere $35 million in sales as it got by on its core aircraft-maintenance business and some aircraft parts. Meanwhile, the company landed a contract to repair Uruguay's C-130 Hercules planes, and in March was authorized to upgrade equipment in the Chilean air force's F-16 fighters. Enaer is also trying to revive its Pillan basic trainer program. The manufacturer has unveiled plans for a new model with all-digital displays.