Aircraft Cabin Management

Airbus to transform European aerostructure assembly

Airbus has announced plans to create two new integrated aerostructure assembly companies in France and Germany, as well as a new detail parts business that will also be located in Germany. The Netherlands-based multinational aerospace corporation presented its plans to its social partners during a recent European works council meeting about the company’s ongoing assessment of its industrial set-up in the region.

The company reiterated that it considers aerostructure assembly as core to its business and maintained that the plans are essential in order to reinforce its value stream management and prepare the company for its short and long-term future. 

The new company in France would bring together the activities currently managed within Airbus in Saint-Nazaire and Nantes together with those of Stelia Aerospace worldwide. Another company in Germany would unite the activities of Stade and Structure Assembly of Hamburg with those of Premium Aerotec in Nordenham, Bremen and partly in Augsburg, while rebalancing activities towards the upper part of the value chain and reviewing its involvement in the manufacturing of detail parts.

These two new aerostructure assembly companies, both wholly owned by Airbus, would no longer be suppliers to Airbus but become integrated within the Airbus infrastructure, simplifying both governance and interfaces in a new industrial set-up. Their distinct status would also enable them to focus on their industry segment and “be leaner and more agile, fostering competitiveness, innovation and quality to the benefit of the Airbus programmes of today and tomorrow”, according to the company. 

Airbus also intends to create a new global player in the detail parts business, anchored in Germany. Born out of today’s Premium Aerotec, this new entity would use its scale and advanced technologies to “capitalise on the significant long-term growth prospects with Airbus as well as external customers, on both civil and military platforms”.

Airbus added that it continues to work on solutions with its social partners in Spain to optimise the current industrial and aerostructure set-up in the Cádiz area in order to ensure its viability, resilience and competitiveness for the future.

In March, Airbus awarded a contract extension to Stratasys for the production of 3D-printed polymer aircraft cabin interior components. The extension expands the range of parts printed for the Airbus 350 to include replacement and spare parts for maintenance, repair and overhaul, as well as parts for other aircraft platforms such as the A300, A330, A340 and A320.

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