Airbus has created a subsidiary called "Airbus Middle East". Headquartered at the Dubai Airport Free Zone, it will be in charge of all commercial activities, including marketing, sales, contracts and customer relations, as well as all customer service activities, such as spare parts, training, and technical support.

Habib Fekih, currently CEO of Dubai based Total Airline Services Company (TASC), has been appointed President of Airbus Middle East.

Airbus Middle East will cover GCC countries, as well as Yemen, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. It is the fourth such subsidiary Airbus has established, following those based in the United States, China and Japan, and its creation underlines the region?s global importance to Airbus as an aviation market.

Airbus is also establishing a new spare parts centre for the Middle East, adding to its worldwide network of spares, training and technical-support teams.

"With traffic predicted to be multiplied by four over the next 20 years, the Middle East is one of the fastest developing regions in the world", says Airbus president and CEO Gustav Humbert. "We have a long-standing relationship with all airlines of the region and we are very proud of the role our products have played in the development of these fast growing carriers, being in most cases the cornerstone of their fleet expansions and modernisations. The trust and confidence these carriers have placed in Airbus leads us today to further expand our presence in the region. Our objective in doing so is to even better serve our valued customers and be in an even better position to give them full satisfaction, which is our top priority", he added.

The spares centre, for which work has already begun at Dubai Airport Free Zone, is due to become operational in April 2007. The spares centre will stock parts made by Airbus and major-equipment suppliers, and will be built on a 5,100 sq m site. It will have direct access to the airport apron for maximum speed and efficiency. Dubai is one of the world?s most modern and fastest-growing airports, serving more than 90 airlines flying to more than 136 destinations worldwide, and hence an ideal location for such an additional spares centre.

The company's worldwide support network already includes spares centres in Beijing, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Singapore and near Washington DC, plus training centres in Beijing, Miami and Toulouse. It also includes more than130 field service teams around the world.

Airbus is an EADS joint company with BAE Systems.