Aircraft structures: Airbus presents a major restructuring

Mainly Airbus has announced the reintegration of Stelia Aerospace into the group and founded a new company for “aircraft structures” in order to gain competitiveness. It will weigh 12,000 employees with potential sales of 5 billion euros.

It was last February. A year after the rise of Covid-19 in the world and an unprecedented crisis that resulted in a 40% decline in air traffic and almost 30% in the activity and sales of the European aircraft manufacturer, Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury insisted the need to simplify its industrial plan on the aircraft structure side.

In the face of new challenges, lower production rates on the one hand, the aircraft of the future on the other … fuselage, wings, aircraft tips … “These activities must stay with Airbus and are at the heart of the profession,” he had explained and with it the spirits prepared with the lines that threatened to run on the side of the subsidiaries Stelia Aerospace on the French side and of Premium Aerotec on the German side.

This major internal restructuring was presented on Wednesday by Patrick Piedrafita, Head of Airbus Operations SAS, and Cédric Gautier, President of Stelia Aerospace. And it led to… a return to the fold for the latter as part of a new Airbus company whose name is still to be found. Premium Aerotec also found the fold of the parent company on the German side.

In the words of Cédric Gautier, “was created to be sold” – first with Crealia in 2009, then with the merger with Sogerma, which Stelia Aerospace would create in 2015 – the subsidiary for aircraft structures, which has since grown considerably (Now also The work for Dassault, Boeing, Embraer and Bombardier is now an integral part of the Airbus Group again. Better still, the Airbus locations in Nantes and Saint-Nazaire will be added to the new company, which was founded on January 1st, 2022 and will be placed under the direction of Airbus Operations SAS.

This is a company that will have “pre-Covid sales of 5 billion euros” and 12,000 jobs, 9,000 of them in France. Patrick Pierdrafita and Cédric Gautier underlined the restructuring, which will take place without any job losses and with the status of the employees retained.

Prepare for the future

“We have just gone through the worst aviation crisis […] and the challenges of reorganization are very simple […] We are preparing for the future. Boeing will also come back very strong in the price war, and we will soon have a Chinese competitor who will appear in the market. We are therefore facing a tripole and no longer a duo-pole ”, summarized in substance Patrick Piedrafita.

Efficiency, simplicity and funding of projects for tomorrow’s aircraft (hydrogen, carbon-free) will therefore be the keywords as air structure assemblies now regain their status as “essential” facilities within Airbus. Sum up ? When air structure is “the core business”, the heart’s place is in the body, not outside, especially when the time comes to partner with organizations that are “more powerful and robust”. The aim is to create “a leader in” world-class aircraft structures “

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