French aerospace industry strengthens foothold in the Middle East

Published: Monday, April 8, 2019

France is the third largest aerospace supplier to the UAE. Bilateral trade between the countries stood at nearly US$5 billion in 2016, the second largest in the Gulf after Saudi Arabia.

The French Pavilion stood out as the only official national delegation at the Middle East’s leading trade fair for aircraft maintenance and interiors, the Aircraft Interiors & MRO Middle East, held in February in Dubai.

It’s the 8th year in a row that the French firms collectively participated in the show with support from BUSINESS FRANCE, the national agency promoting international development and exports for the French economy.

“France has a strong reputation when it comes to aircraft interiors and aerospace maintenance. French specialists are able to supply products and services perfectly suited to the needs of airlines and MRO centers,” Samantha Douarin, Aerospace Project Manager at BUSINESS FRANCE, pointed out.

Globally, the French economy is ranked 6th and its aerospace industry is significantly contributing to its growth with €64 billion in sales in 2017, €43.3 billion of which are consolidated export revenues.

According to the French Embassy in the UAE, France is the second investor in Abu Dhabi, and the 3rd investor in Dubai. Similarly, the UAE is France’s second biggest investor from the Gulf, representing 35 % of the investment stock from the region.

The UAE is home to more than 600 subsidiaries of French companies, and more than 75% of the CAC 40’s firms are located in the Federation.

Growing Industry

In 2017, France was ranked as having the second biggest aerospace industry with total sales of about €64 billion after the United States which had revenues of over US$131 billion.

Overall, the value of aerospace exports rose by an average 3.4% for all exporting countries since 2013. Total aerospace exports by country in 2017 totaled US$326.4 billion.

The Groupement des industries françaises aéronautiques et spatiales ( GIFAS), the French Aerospace Industries Association created in 1908, said France is living in historic times with so many commercial planes manufactured in the country. The French aerospace industry is the most important industrial sector, followed by automotive and pharmaceuticals.

French firms at the AIME & MRO Middle East highlighted the following:
In aerospace maintenance: in- flight monitoring / predictive maintenance, swift and efficient par ts replacement, process improvement through new technologies, digitization of documentation and monitoring, use of big data, virtual training, etc.

In aircraft interiors: material weight reduction, differentiation through the customization of interiors, optimal space utilization, in-flight entertainment and communication systems, etc.

AEROBAY, the first totally free BtoB selling gateway for the trading of used & new parts which is sort of like an eBay for aerospace parts and spares, said business is good and the trend is likely to continue with more people opting to travel by plane or have goods carried over air freight.

BUSINESS FRANCE said the French aerospace market’s highly varied offerings are very well placed to meet the requirements of Middle-Eastern airlines which are constantly upgrading fleet to keep up with the rapid increase in air travel demand regionally and internationally.

At the event, French firms showed keen interest in establishing or strengthening ties with the region’s decision makers while presenting their product s , technologies and innovations.

Dr. George Kanterakis, Research & Innovation Director of GMI-Aero, a leading innovator and a key provider of solutions and p roducts f o r advanced process control used in the composite material manufacturing and repair, which works with the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers, MROs and airlines, said technology and innovations will dictate the future of the aerospace industry.

Other French firms that participated at the event include:

AAA : Offers a wide range of services in aircraft maintenance, cabin services and customer assistance via work packages designed in accordance to the needs.

ADHETEC : Designs, manufactures and distributes products and services in the field of adhesive film technologies & solutions.

AD’OCC : The Regional Development Agency of the Occitanie Region, located in Toulouse, Southern France.

AMC AVIATION : Delivers high standard tailor made services related to Aviation activities and to provide various consulting services.

BOLLORE LOGISTICS : A global leader in international transport & logistics.

CREATION & IMAGE PARIS : Manufactures and distributes high-standing uniforms.

DEDIENNE AEROSPACE : Worldwide leading company specialized in GSE and precision maintenance tooling for civil and defense markets.

EQUIP’AERO : EQUIP’AERO INDUSTRIE’s Group has two principal activities: EQUIP’AERO SERVICES which specializes in MRO and EQUIP’AERO TECHNIQUE, an OEM.

ESTERLINE SENSORS SERVICES : The aftermarket arm of Esterline Advanced Sensors, provides global MRO support and services.

LATECOERE : Offers dedicated tailored solution for any Airborne Video System addressing external, cargo and cabin surveillance, passenger entertainment and assistance to operations.

MANITOU: Develops dedicated access solutions for aircraft maintenance purposes currently in use in the civil and military aviation sectors.

 MAPAERO: Develops, manufactures and markets aircraft coatings according to customer specifications, with a specialty on water-based and other advanced environmentally friendly coatings.

REEL : An industrial group specializing in complex lifting and handling systems as well as integrated systems solutions.

REVIMA GROUP : A Leading independent provider, specialized in APU and Landing Gear MRO, as well as a sheet metal activity for the repair of main engine components.

SIMAIR – IMAGINAIR : Provides commercial and CJ galleys, privacy compartments, monuments, stowages, dividers, partitions as well as security cockpit doors.

TESTIA : An AIRBUS company in the field of Non-Destructive Testing, Quality Inspections and Training in Aerospace.

UUDS AERO: Offers a full range of quality services including: cabin interior equipment; sanitary and various chemical treatments; a wet cleaning process for exterior aircraft.

WEARE GROUP : Offers all types of detail parts and cabin interiors and Aero structure assemblies manufacturing.

WIN-MS : Offers high technology diagnosis tools for cables and harnesses allowing an immediate fault location.