Paris Air Show could be Portugal’s “up, up and away…”

Portugal’s “aeronautic cluster” is pinning its hopes on the Paris Airshow taking place this week in Le Bourget (airport) exhibition centre, and running until Sunday.

Explains Economia online, AED (standing for the aeronautic, space and defence cluster) has “enormous growth potential”. The only thing standing in its way is “a lack of technicians, and the small size of the companies involved”.

Thus, pressure is on for Portugal’s cluster to ‘make its mark’: forge contracts, impress investors.

AED president Paulo Chaves has explained that small though it may be, his sector has a turnover of €1.7 billion, 80% of which involves exports. It is also responsible for 18,000 jobs.

Another significance of this year’s airshow is to celebrate “the start of negotiations between the Portuguese State and (Brazilian aviation manufacturer) Embraer with a view to buying five (if not six) KC-390 aircraft” at a cost of €70 million each.

It’s a deal that could be mutually beneficial, explained negocios online earlier this month, as parts for these planes are made by Portuguese workers at Embraer’s plant in Alverca.

Another important aspect is that the craft – designed to replace the Air Force’s C-130 fleet – can be used in “direct fire combat”.

Long before the horror of this week’s fires, explained that “in future the Portuguese Air Force might have to take part in these type of missions”.

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