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Basque aeronautics and space sector begins to show signs of recovery

HEGAN, the Basque Aerospace Cluster, closes 2011 with more than 10% of growth

The Basque aeronautics and space sector has pulled out of the 2010 stagnation and begun to show signs of a recovery. On closing the 2011 financial year, there was an increase in sales of about 12% in the HEGAN-associated plants worldwide and with a 10% rise in employment in the aeronautics sector. At the plants in Euskadi (the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country), centres in which the added value of these companies is concentrated, the estimated figures on closing the 2011 financial year are half of these increases.

For 2012 and subsequent years important rises in the pace of production of aeronautic programmes are anticipated by the aircraft builders in which the HEGAN Cluster members participate, given the contracts already achieved, and are set to multiply the overall turnover by a factor of 1.8 over the next five years. In concrete, for 2012, increases similar or greater to those mentioned above for 2011 are expected.

The forecast of the demand for large commercial aircraft (planes holding more than 100 passengers) over the next 20 years is a doubling of the current fleet of aircraft, according to data from Airbus; going from 15,000 aeroplanes currently in service to 31,500 in 2030 – 27,800 new aircraft of which 10,500 will be needed to replace ageing and thus less efficient aeroplanes. These forecasts are more optimistic than the 20-year forecast of the European manufacturers in 2010.

As regards regional aircraft (planes holding between 50 and 100 passengers), growth over the next 20 years is also expected, the current fleet set to multiply by a factor of 1.8, going from 6,305 aircraft to 11,355 over this period of time.

And for 2012 important increases in the pace of production of aeronautic programmes are anticipated by the aircraft builders Boeing and Airbus, in which HEGAN Cluster partners participate. In 2012 European manufacturers will go from manufacturing 34 planes a month to 40 aircraft and look at new expansion projects, while the North American sector will go from having manufactured 31.5 planes a month in 2011 to 35 a month in the current year.

Press release issued by Hegan - Basque Aerospace Cluster on January 17, 2012


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