Through Hugues-Olivier Dumez
Goodbye Stelia Aerospace, Hello Airbus Atlantic ! Announced in April 2021, the restructuring plan fuselage aerostructure activities Airbus and its subsidiaries just reached a new milestone in September. It’s official, the aircraft manufacturer will give birth to Airbus Atlantic, a subsidiary that could ultimately represent 12,000 employees.
Operational at January 1, 2022, this new 100% subsidiary will bring together the assembly activities of subassemblies of the Airbus sites of Nantes and Saint Nazaire with those of the aerostructures subsidiary Stelia Aerospace, whose head office is in Colomiers, near Toulouse. This last entity was created from the merger between Aerolia and Sogerma.
However, the “Stelia Aerospace” trademark is “retained for the activities Cabin interior, that is to say the product ranges Business passenger seats and First class », Explains Airbus.
What are aerostructures?
Aerostructures? Behind this term, a bit barbaric, hides an extremely strategic sector for the world number 1 in aeronautics: this brings together all the construction activities of the different parts of the structure of an aircraft: from the fuselage to the wings, including the nacelles. reactor. Activities today scattered in several Airbus factories (such as Saint-Nazaire and Nantes, for France), but also in other entities, since the European aircraft manufacturer has 100% several subsidiaries focused on aerostructure, like the French Stelia Aerospace and the German Premium Aerotec. Two subsidiaries with more than 12,000 employees in total.
Bring out “a champion”
If ten years ago, Airbus wanted to outsource aerostructures, the aircraft manufacturer has since changed its mind. Considering that they are part of his core business, he now sees real added value in them. Better still, Airbus wants to bring out “a champion” of aerostructures of international dimension which will compete with the American. Spirit AeroSystems.
“In France, the process is going well”, confides Thierry baril, the Airbus HRD, on the sidelines ofAirbus Summit, which was held in Toulouse on September 21 and 22, 2021.
In Germany, the situation is more complex. Airbus wants to “divert” from its new aerostructure subsidiary the production activities of elementary pieces. This management position crystallizes tensions across the Rhine.
Aerostructures “become one with Airbus”
Conversely, the Toulouse-based Stelia has already separated from its production of elementary parts. He has notably developed subsidiaries in Morocco and Tunisia. “The starting point is not the same”, underlines Thierry Baril, confirming Airbus’ ambition to invest in aerostructures. “For ten years, the question has arisen as to whether this skill should remain with us,” admits the Airbus HRD. “We have clarified the situation: aerostructures are part of Airbus”.
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