WOOD DALE, Illinois, June 23, 2014 – AAR (NYSE: AIR), a global aerospace, government and defense contractor, has become the first aviation company to land a multi-year deal under the Obama administration’s “Doing Business in Africa” initiative. AAR is announcing a five-year multi-million dollar agreement with Kenya Airways to provide power-by-the-hour component support for its fleet of 737NG aircraft. AAR will place inventory on site in Nairobi while offering additional rotable pool support from its newly established supply chain hub in Brussels.
With assistance from U.S. Department of Commerce leadership and staff in Washington, D.C., Chicago, and the U.S. Embassy in Kenya, AAR’s top executives were able to connect with key government and business officials beginning last year during a visit to Nairobi, Kenya; meet legal requirements; establish business protocols; and cultivate relationships. The successful advocacy strategy was also supported by several inter-agency partners including the State Department.
“The advocacy and access AAR gained through the Commerce Department’s program gave us an advantage in the face of stiff competition from European companies,” said AAR CORP. Chairman and CEO David P. Storch. “The administration’s support was key to enabling us to navigate the business landscape. This deal with Kenya Airways has helped to progress AAR’s expansion across the African continent.”
Doing Business in Africa (DBIA), first announced in December 2012, was designed to close the opportunity gap between American business and emerging markets in Africa, home to seven of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Obama administration efforts include enhanced outreach from Commerce and interagency partners to provide American companies with leads and introductions; and advocate for and connect businesses with distributors and potential customers.
“The success of AAR in Kenya is an excellent example of how the National Export Initiative is working to help U.S. businesses leverage new export opportunities in emerging markets and around the world,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “I know from my recent trade mission that many U.S. companies are selling to Africa, but it can be a challenging market for many American businesses. That is why the Commerce Department is assisting American businesses as they navigate new markets, reach new customers, and develop new opportunities in existing markets. When U.S. companies succeed, the benefits are mutually shared in the form of new economic opportunity at home and abroad.”
This deal builds on AAR’s recent progress in establishing a foothold in Africa. Last year, AAR fulfilled a contract to service landing gear on Kenya Airways’ Boeing 777s. AAR also supplies cargo systems for South African Airways and participated in the MRO Africa Conference and Exhibition in Ethiopia, focused on the build-out of Africa’s aviation industry.
“Through efforts like these, Americans and Africans can begin to understand the mutually beneficial relationships both our economies need to sustain and grow,” said Kenya Airways CEO Titus Naikuni. “We appreciate the Obama administration’s help in connecting us with AAR’s services that will reduce our costs so we can continue to grow.”
AAR is a global aerospace and defense contractor that employs more than 6,000 people in 17 countries. Based in Wood Dale, Illinois, AAR supports commercial, government and defense customers through two operating segments: Aviation Services and Technology Products. AAR’s services include inventory management and parts distribution; aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul; and expeditionary airlift. AAR’s products include cargo systems and containers; mobility systems and shelters; advanced aerostructures; and command and control systems. More information can be found at www.aarcorp.com.