The aerospace industries in Morocco and Tunisia still tend to be viewed as embryonic by some Westerners, but the North African countries are starting to capitalize on the desire by European companies to move production offshore and take advantage of the close proximity to these low-cost economies. Both countries have made a commitment to develop an investment framework promoting local jobs, and opportunities for international companies, and this is paying dividends with the constant creation of new aerospace concerns.
Peter Lengyel, president and CEO of Safran USA, understands why most Americans aren’t familiar with his company. After all, it is only six years old. But Safran is a huge global company with 57,000 employees worldwide and a global presence, with products aviation-industry people and air travelers probably use, one way or another, almost every day.
“We are the merger of Snecma and Sagem, which occurred in 2005. Sagem is avionics and optronics and Snecma is the largest propulsion company in the world,” said Lengyel, at the Safran display (Booth No. 7517).
Safran’s Labinal and Comac have established a Shanghai-based joint venture known as Shanghai Saifei Aviation Ewis Manufacturing, with Comac taking a 51-percent share. A signing ceremony at the Paris Air Show this week formally created the new company, following the signing of a memorandum of understanding in February. The new venture specializes in electrical wiring interconnection systems, which it is providing for the Comac C-919 airliner.
Despite the well documented complications arising out of the Boeing 787’s “more electric” architecture, French engine and equipment manufacturer Safran earlier this month restated that electric systems will replace hydraulics and bleed air in future aircraft at an accelerated rate.
France’s Aerospace Valley, with 94,000 jobs at 1,300 companies (including approximately 1,000 small and medium-sized enterprises– SMEs) and 8,500 research positions, has emerged on the industry map as Europe’s only true aerospace cluster. Aerospace Valley, the cooperative venture between Midi-Pyrénées and the neighboring southwest region of Aquitaine representing 61 SMEs, is again exhibiting here at Le Bourget in Hall 4.