EADS said in a statement: "SWA's aluminium products will initially supply both Airbus' single-aisle and long-range families, and the contract could be extended to other programmes in the future."

Aluminium is a key component in aircraft production, used in many different parts of a plane such as fuselage panels and frames, floor beams and wing spars/ribs. The move will help EADS and Airbus move a step closer to sourcing new qualified suppliers in emerging regions, EADS added.