A total of nine Andalusian aeronautical companies participated at the latest edition of the ILA Berlin Air Show 2010 held in Germany last June, with various firms from our region entering into a collaboration agreement with the Hanse Aerospace aeronautical cluster. The Andalusian delegation, which had the support of Extenda and the Hélice foundation, held a series of meetings with other clusters and companies in the international sector with the aim of securing business contracts and strategic alliances to improve the competitiveness of our region’s aeronautical industry

From 8 to 13 June, the Shönefeld International Airport in Berlin hosted the centenary of one of the biggest and most important trade fairs in the international aerospace and aeronautical sector and the most important German event in this field, the ILA Berlin Air Show 2010. The Andalusian aeronautical sector was present at the ILA, achieving very positive results from its participation.

A total of nine Andalusian aeronautical firms attended the ILA Berlin Air Show in a trade mission organised by the Regional Ministry of the Economy, Innovation and Science with the collaboration of the Andalusian Agency for Overseas Promotion, Extenda, and the support of the Hélice Foundation. The entities attending the ILA were Alestis Aerospace, Aerosertec, Ghenova Aeronáutica, UMI Aeronáutica, TADA, Sofitec, Aertec, the Andalusian Aerospace Technology Park (Aeropolis) and the Hélice Foundation. For the first time, the Andalusian delegation had its own stand this year with an approximate surface area of 60 square metres in the International Suppliers Center (ISC).

As well as presenting the region’s aeronautical sector, it provided the opportunity to establish commercial relations with other international companies and institutions and strategic alliances for future collaboration which will enable improvements to the competitiveness of the Andalusian aeronautical industry and its continued growth in terms of capacity, technology, employment and turnover. The most outstanding result of the Andalusian presence at the ILA Berlin Air Show 2010 was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the companies Sofitec, Inespasa and Airgroup and the engineering firm Voith Engineering Services Aerospace (which recently acquired CB network).

This agreement, the terms of which had already been discussed in 2009 at the latest edition of the Paris Air Show, establishes a relationship which may be very beneficial for Andalusian companies given that both parties carry out complementary activities: major capabilities in the field of aerospace engineering and related services in the case of the German company and production with highly competitive costs in the case of the Andalusian auxiliary aeronautical industry, which has positioned itself as a leader in fields such as the manufacture of carbon fibre parts.

An intense calendar of activities

Other interesting actions for Andalusian firms in the calendar of activities of the Hélice Foundation and Extenda included a guided tour of the area dedicated to the Canadian and U.S. sector, enabling contacts to be made with some of the most important companies in the international aeronautical industry such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, northrop Grumman, Pratt&Whitney, Raytheon and Bell Helicopter, among others.

The Andalusian delegation also had the opportunity to attend the presentation of the Baden Württemberg cluster located in south-west Germany, organised by the German branch of Extenda.

The Director of the Hélice Foundation, Manuel Cruz, offered a presentation of the Andalusian aeronautical cluster at this event. In addition, during the days dedicated to professionals in the sector from 8 to 10 June, individual meetings were held between Andalusian companies and major manufacturers present at the ILA. A meeting was also organised by the European Aerospace Cluster Partnership (EACP) with representation of the Andalusian cluster by the Hélice Foundation, which exchanged experiences with representatives of other European clusters such as Aerospace Valley in France and the Bavarian cluster “bavAIRia”, with which an individual meeting was held.

In terms of bilateral meetings, Andalusian firms also participated in the “International Buyers Day”, which enabled direct talks with major manufacturers of the international aeronautical industry; and the “European Technology Day”, at which they met with potential technological partners with a view to establishing strategic collaboration agreements such as licensing agreements, transfer of know-how, technical assistance, subcontracting and collaboration on R+D projects.

These two initiatives were coordinated by the Centre of Services for European Affairs in Andalusia (CESEAnD) and Citandalucía. As a result, a total of 76 meetings were organised between entities from countries such as Germany, France, Sweden, Poland and the United Kingdom and the Andalusian companies Aeropolis, Aerosertec, Aertec, Airbus Military, Alestis Aerospace, Ghenova Aeronautica, Sofitec, TADA, Umi Aeronáutica and Solar MEMS Technologies, resulting in potential opportunities for future collaboration.

The A400M and the A380 steal the show

This centenary edition of the ILA Berlin Air Show will go down as being one of the most successful in many years, due to the record participation and the number of deals which were closed during the course of the event. This is despite the fact that the international aeronautical industry is going through difficult times, with important delays in the main programmes of major manufacturers such as EADS and Boeing.

The ILA, which was inaugurated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, closed its doors after a total of 235,000 visitors and the participation of some 70,000 professionals from the aeronautical sector. A total of 300 aircraft were exhibited, along with the presence of 1,153 exhibitors from 47 different countries, bringing together all the leading suppliers for international aeronautical companies.

This year the guest country was Switzerland. One of the highlights at the ILA was the A400M military airlifter, which made its first appearance at an international air show and even executed various demonstration flights before the attendees. Other aviation giants were also present, such as the C130J, the C-17 and the C5.

The other big star was the A380 superjumbo jet by Airbus, which announced an order of 32 of these aircraft worth 11.5 billion dollars (9.561 billion euros) by Emirates Airlines.

This is the largest order ever placed with an aircraft manufacturer and is a breath of fresh air for EADS and Airbus, which have had a difficult last few months due to the delays of the A400M programme. The European company received a total of 67 new orders during the course of the ILA, with a value of 15.3 billion dollars (12.500 billion euros). Another highlight was the order by the Brazilian airline TAM for five A350-900s and twenty A320 aircraft, with a value of around 3 billion dollars (2,4 billion euros).

The European manufacturer says that demand has increased because the aeronautical sector has started to give indications of recovery, enabling airlines to increase their fleets. “What we have seen at ILA are green shoots of industry recovery. There is more to come as the industry picks up,” affirmed the Chief Operating Officer (Customers) at Airbus, John Leahy.