Airbus Group, in partnership with Aero Montreal, Québec’s Aerospace Cluster, today held a one-day procurement conference in Montreal focused on expanding the supply chain of Canadian aerospace and manufacturing firms doing business with Airbus Group.
The event drew representatives from nearly 40 invited Canadian businesses based in Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces.
In welcoming members of the Canadian aerospace industry to the event, the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, said, “Canada is proud of the success its world-class aerospace sector has had around the world. Our government is committed to delivering international results for Canadian companies by opening doors, accessing new markets and helping our small and medium-sized companies expand into the global supply chain, which creates jobs and prosperity at home.”
David Williams, Vice President of Procurement, Airbus Americas. said: “We were very pleased at the response to our event, the purpose of which was to familiarize potential Canadian suppliers with our selection processes and performance standards” He added: We’re also creating a database of local suppliers we might be able to work with as part of our bid for the DoD’s Fixed Wing Search and Rescue campaign.”
With more than 70 percent of Canadian R&D investments performed in the Greater Montréal region, Québec is the main centre for aerospace R&D activities in Canada. In the Montreal area, one worker in 53 has a job related to aerospace. That represents 41,750 highly skilled workers.
Don Tierney, Vice President for Airbus Group International said: “It’s worth noting that Airbus Group has grown its presence five-fold in Canada in the past decade. We have a significant business presence in Quebec, with 67 percent of our overall spending in Canada being done here, and this is a firm demonstration of our commitment to the Canadian market.”
“This day represents an incredible opportunity for SMEs, many of which have been selected by Airbus to participate”, says Suzanne M. Benoît, President of Aéro Montréal. “It responds to a challenge faced by our companies, which is to better understand the needs and expectations of original equipment manufacturers such as Airbus, as well as Tier 1 integrators. To remain competitive at a time when the global supply chain is transforming, our companies need to innovate and differentiate themselves through operational excellence. We are therefore very proud to be involved in this important day.”
In 2014, Airbus Group generated revenues of C$82 billion and employed a workforce of 138,600 including 2,000 Canadians, buying C$1 billion direct from Canadian aerospace companies. Airbus Group’s close cooperation and collaboration with Canadian universities, the National Research Council (NRC) and industry has led to it becoming a frontrunner for innovation and skills in Canada.
Airbus Group works with more than 570 Canadian suppliers across its three divisions. These divisions are: Airbus, a leading global aircraft manufacturer supporting the fleets of Canadian airlines; Airbus Defence and Space, which provides expertise in public safety, electronics, space systems, as well as tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft; and Airbus Helicopters, a leading helicopter manufacturer celebrating over 30 years of operations in Canada, having delivered one of every two helicopters over the past 15 years.
Airbus Group affiliates in Canada include Vector Aerospace, a Canadian champion in aerospace maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO); and Stelia Aerospace, a multi-specialist aeronautics company. Vector employs more than 1,100 Canadians in six locations, and provides support for gas turbine engines, helicopters and avionics to international commercial and military customers. Stelia designs, develops and manufactures aerostructures, cabin interiors and crew seats.
Aéro Montréal, Québec's aerospace cluster, is a strategic think tank that groups all the major decision makers in Québec's aerospace sector, including companies, educational and research institutions, associations and unions. Aéro Montréal’s mission is to mobilize industry players around common goals and concerted actions to increase the cohesion and optimize competitiveness of Québec’s aerospace cluster. It aims to foster the growth and expansion of the cluster so as to ensure that it may continue to create wealth for Montréal, Québec and Canada. For more information, visit aeromontreal.ca.