Paris: Abu Dhabi aerostructures business looks toward North Africa
Abu Dhabi aerostructures business Strata is eyeing potential manufacturing bases in North Africa, the company's CEO has said in Paris.
In an interview with UK news and data company,Flightgloba,l at the Paris Air Show the chief executive of the Mubadala subsidiary Badr Al Olama, said the “next five years will be a transformation for us, as the company adds contracts, customers and competencies”.
Al Olama said that the company could develop its own engineering design service and open a low-cost subsidiary in North Africa, possibly in Tunisia or Morocco. “The advantage of setting up there is that they are very close to Europe, the education system is excellent and they speak French, and Arabic,” he said.
The composites specialist, was launched five years ago and Al Olama said is now looking at expanding into technologies such as additive-layer manufacturing and making its own pre-preg materials.
At the Paris event, Strata announced it has been awarded a contract to manufacture the flap support fairings for the Airbus A350-1000 on behalf of Saab Aerostructures. Strata already makes composite components for the Airbus A330, A350-900 and A380 as well as ATR.
Al Olama said he also wants to increase Strata’s work with Boeing. Although it produces vertical ribs for the 787 and 777, the Seattle-based airframer represents a small percentage of its roughly $130 million revenues. “We are bigger with Airbus because we started with them, but we are keen to expand with Boeing,” says Al Olama.
Strata largely carries out build-to-print contracts for first-tier suppliers, although Al Olama believes adding a capability to manufacture pre-preg carbonfibre, and also design-engineer projects would give the start-up “a complete start-to-finish package that we can offer customers”.