Aviation Business News

Interview: Bucher Leichtbau’s Beat Burlet

Beat Burlet, CEO Bucher
photo_camera Beat Burlet, CEO Bucher

Back in June, the family-run Swiss interiors specialist marked its platinum anniversary at the annual Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg. Lee Hayhurst caught up with chief executive Beat Burlet


Swiss aircraft interiors manufacturer Bucher’s founding focus was to provide the airline industry with innovative lightweight products to optimise operational efficiency.

Seventy years after the family-run Swiss firm was founded that ethos has never been more important as the sector looks to drive sustainability by reducing fuel burn and emissions.

At AIX in Hamburg in June, the third-generation firm showcased its latest developments as well as marking its 70th birthday with existing and new customers.

Beat Burlet, chief executive of Bucher Leichtbau, said sustainability is a topic that OEMs are placing an increasing focus on.

“We have done a lifecycle analysis of our products. It was clear that the vast majority of emissions that our products produce is during the use phase, not during production.

“That basically means we need to provide lighter products. Internally, we do research and development on materials focussing on developing new composite materials.

“The search is on for plastics that can be recycled as opposed to carbon fibre which we know, at the moment, is tricky.”

Bucher has begun manufacturing some metallic parts using emerging 3D printing technology that can also be used for more lightweight plastic components.

Burlet said the technology promises a new generation of lightweight components. “We can create forms and shapes we cannot create with conventional machines.

“For me, the benefit of 3D printing is really more in terms of structures we can combine to optimise for weight.”

Other emerging technology related to the sustainable operation of aircraft is galley power manager systems that allow operators to reduce their energy consumption.

Alongside improved galley inventory management, Burlet said the industry will move in this direction in the medium to long term and Bucher will “provide the backbone” for OEMs.

Airlines are also looking to provide more customer self-service counters, particularly for long-haul flights, and to introduce special monuments and branding in the cabin.

An example of this is the customised galley Bucher has designed, developed and certified for Condor’s A330neo fleet, which was on show at AIX in Hamburg.

The Galley has a range features and details Bucher said ensure the best working conditions for the crew and optimal service for passengers.

The galley door features an illuminated branding panel to welcome passengers on board.

And the unit has also been fitted with an ultra-flat AerQ OLED monitor on the rear wall, allowing airlines to display branding and product advertising during the flight.

As Bucher enters its eighth decade its focuses on producing lightweight and reliable products that have a long service life are easily replaced remained undimmed.

Burlet said: “This enables airlines to minimise their ecological footprint and extend the lifespan of their cabin equipment.

“Bucher’s 70th anniversary is a clear testament to our commitment to innovation, sustainability, and quality.

“As a family-owned company with a long history of success in the aviation industry, we are well-positioned to continue offering innovative solutions for aircraft cabins worldwide.”



Bucher’s new products showcased at AIX 2023
• A compact, portable SkyBassinet with a patented mechanism that enables it to be folded to the size of a small handbag for 50% space-saving
• A sliding class divider is being offered for the first time which can be used to differentiate the flight classes within the aircraft cabin
• An enhanced Doghouse – a flexible and customisable storage solution for the cabin and crew, that optimises space utilisation and increases efficiency
• A custom Galley with an ultra-slim AerQ OLED monitor for branding and product advertisements during the flight
• Half-size and full-size FAA TSO certified ARCTICartTM service trollies with thermal insulation to maintain temperatures under 4°C for over 20 hours without the need for expensive dry ice.


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