Aerolia Canada eyes more business in North America

Montreal
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The Canadian subsidiary of French aerostructures supplier Aerolia hopes that its work on the in-development Bombardier Global 7000 and 8000 business jets will help it win more work in North America, including from Boeing.

Aerolia Canada is set to complete work on a final assembly facility in Mirabel in southern Quebec in January 2014 and will unveil part of it at a ceremony tomorrow. The facility will produce the centre fuselage for the Global 7000 and 8000, set to enter into service in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

At its maximum capacity, the 7,300 square metres facility will produce seven fuselage sections a month, Aerolia chief executive Christian Cornille tells Flightglobal.

Aerolia , an EADS subsidiary, won the Bombardier contract in 2011, adding its first customer ouside Airbus. Cornille says the company's work on the Global 7000 and 8000 will demonstrate its capabilities to the rest of the industry, particularly Boeing. The US airframer is unlikely to subcontract work to an EADS subsidiary, but Cornille hopes this will change in the future. Aerolia has indicated previously that it would likely be sold by EADS to an external investor, which will open up more potential customers.

"This is why it would be so important for us to be successful with Bombardier," he adds. "We have some technology that will interest Boeing."

Aerolia is investing C$82 million ($79.5 million) in the Mirabel facility, with the provincial Quebec government contributing C$15 million of that total cost. The facility will employ about 160 workers, says Marie-Agnès Vève, chief executive of Aerolia Canada.

The aerostructures supplier is also supplying the nose fuselage section for the Airbus A350 from its facility in Méaulte in France, and is prepared to meet Airbus' needs as the airframer aims to ramp up its production rate in end-2014.

Cornille says Aerolia will increase its capabilities to meet the ramp-up and the company expects to make a decision in 2014 to invest additional resources into its A350 fuselage production.