Airbus has today formally announced the launch of its new subsidiary Airbus Atlantic. Bringing together two of its key parts production sites and its wholly-owned seating business Stelia Aerospace, Airbus Atlantic is immediately propelled to the second-largest aerostructures company in the world, and is the biggest producer of pilot seats.
New Airbus subsidiary launched
European planemaker Airbus has announced the launch of a new subsidiary, Airbus Atlantic. The subsidiary was officially established on January 1st, 2022, and has instantly become the world’s number two for aerostructures, and the number one for pilot seats.
The consolidation into this new subsidiary brings together three sites in Loire-Atlantique. These are the Airbus site at Montoir-Saint-Nazaire, the Stelia Aerospace site, also in Saint-Nazaire, and Nantes. Stelia Aerospace has footholds in many other countries, bringing the total reach of Airbus Atlantic to five countries on three continents.
In terms of workforce, Airbus Atlantic now employs around 13,000 staff and has an estimated business volume of some €3.5 billion ($4 billion). The move to consolidate in this way is aimed at strengthening the value chain of aerostructure assembly within Airbus’s industrial setup.
Cédric Gautier, the new CEO of Airbus Atlantic and the former CEO of Stelia Aerospace, commented on the launch of the subsidiary saying,
“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. 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.”
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Airbus announced its in-house project “RESHAPE” in April 2021. The project looks to bring forward two new subsidiaries for the Airbus family – one in France and one in Germany. The aim is to bring together the firm’s aerostructures activities and the work that takes place before the final assembly line to strengthen its position.
The name of Airbus Atlantic had already been chosen, with input from employees at the three Loire-Atlantique sites, when the announcement was made. However, the name for the German subsidiary is currently still under wraps.
While Airbus Atlantic ties up the Airbus parts production sites with Stelia Aerospace, another wholly-owned Airbus firm, Premium Aerotec, will be involved in the German consolidation. The French hive off was easier to process, particularly as the move is likely to generate jobs, up to 500 in total.
However, over in Germany, workers are concerned that the streamlining of operations could result in job losses. The planemaker has been at loggerheads with the workers’ unions for months, culminating in a 14,000-employee strike across Germany at the start of December.
Nevertheless, the move is seen as fundamental to Airbus ensuring a smooth and profitable operation going forward. The name and formation of the German subsidiary are expected to be announced within the first six months of the year.