With GKN Aerospace's recent acquisition of the Airbus wing component and assemblies manufacturing unit at Filton, UK, EADS/Airbus has accomplished its aerostructures reorganisation strategy. This initiative combines the divestment of non-core activities and sites in order to establish a network of strong suppliers, allowing Airbus to concentrate on its core business as being an aircraft architect and integrator.
Filton's part site sell-off to GKN follows the successful transfer of the Laupheim site in Germany to Diehl/Thales on October 1st 2008. Prior to this, the carve-out process for the former German Airbus sites in Nordenham and Varel and the former EADS site in Augsburg to create the new Premium AEROTEC GmbH was also accomplished. A similar process was undertaken in France, where Meaulte and St. Nazaire Ville are now the foundation of Aerolia. Both Premium AEROTEC and Aerolia commenced full operations on January 1st under EADS ownership, and are well positioned to become major players on the global market, especially regarding Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastics (CFRP) aerostructures.
Not only will all companies be significantly involved in the A350 XWB programme, they will also commit to the EADS/Airbus Power 8 targets. Aerolia for example has already decided to extend its enterprise and invest in a new plant in Tunisia.
"The new companies are well equipped to become long-term partners for Airbus and major players in the global aerostructures market. Our vision to establish a network of strong suppliers for cabin, wing and aerostructures is clearly taking shape, and we as Airbus can focus on our core business, being an aircraft architect and integrator," said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus Chief Operating Officer. "The site-divestments are feeding back positively into our Power 8 change programme. With Premium AEROTEC and Aerolia, we are convinced that we have created strong companies attractive for any potential partner at a later stage."