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A Virgin Atlantic Airbus A350-1000 on the production line. (Photo: Airbus)

Airbus Launches New Subsidiary

On Monday, Airbus — the prominent, European aircraft manufacturer — announced the launch of Airbus Atlantic, which will become their new wholly-owned subsidiary. The combination of Airbus’ two major production sites located in Nantes, France and Montoir-de-Bretagne, France with Stelia Aerospace — their seat design and manufacturing subsidiary — will potentially make Airbus Atlantic, the second-largest S corporation in the world. 

The subsidiary was officially established on Jan.1 and brings together a total of three production sites located in the Loire-Atlantique — one of France’s administrative departments. 

Airbus’ production site in Nantes, France employs more than 3,000 Airbus employees and is home to the production of center wing boxes for all Airbus’s commercial aircraft. The production site is for air inlets on nacelles for the Airbus A350, the Airbus A380 Superjumbo, the specific Airbus A320 CFM International LEAP-1A and Airbus A330neo engines. The Nantes location also includes the manufacturing of the A380’s and A330’s ailerons, the A350’s belly fairing, and is the leading in manufacturing of structural parts in carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) — the weight-saving composite material that Airbus has increasingly incorporated into its aircraft.

Meanwhile, Airbus’ Montoir-de-Bretagne location employs 3,060 staff and is focused on the assembling, equipping, and testing of the forward sections of all A320 Family aircraft as well as both forward and center sections of A330 and A380 aircraft. Following assembly, fuselage elements are equipped with the essential systems before being transported to their final assembly locations. 

Stelia Aerospace staffs 6,900 employees and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Airbus. This subsidiary specializes in the design and manufacturing of aerostructures, premium class passenger seats and is the leading manufacturer of pilot seats for aircraft in the commercial sector. 

Through consolidation and the combining of forces of all three production locations, the subsidiary will employ 13,000 staff located throughout five countries and three continents with an estimated business volume of $4 billion. The move will help strengthen both Airbus’ value chain and supply chain which includes 500 direct suppliers and 2,000 indirect suppliers. 

“At the heart of Airbus, Airbus Atlantic aims at meeting the great challenges linked to a sustainable aviation industry, pioneering new technologies. Our first mission will be to ensure the satisfaction of all our customers and to establish new standards of excellence in terms of quality and operational efficiency,” the new Airbus Atlantic CEO and former CEO of Stelia Aerospace, Cédric Gautier, said. “I have full confidence in the talent, enthusiasm, and commitment of the Airbus Atlantic teams to write this new chapter of our history with success.”

The Larger Project

This move will play an important role in enabling Airbus to focus on their industry segment allowing them to be more agile, fostering competitiveness, innovation and quality to the benefit of all Airbus programs through the simplification of both governance and interfaces in the new industrial setup. 

The Airbus Atlantic subsidiary is only half of the transformation project announced earlier last year by the manufacturer. Airbus has plans for an additional subsidiary in Germany and looks to simplify the work that occurs prior to the final assembly of aircraft. The name for the German subsidiary has yet to be announced, but it can be expected within the first half of 2022.

 

Author

  • Chase Hagl grew up in Twin Falls, Idaho. His love and passion for Aviation landed him in Orem, Utah where he’s finishing up a B.S. in Aviation Management with a minor in Business Management from Utah Valley University. Following graduation, Chase has plans to obtain his MBA from UVU while employed. His experience in the aviation industry spans back four years, working in areas including agriculture application, customer service, maintenance, and flight ops. In his free time, Chase enjoys road biking, astronomy, and flying.

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