JUSTIN WASTNAGE / PARIS
France's EADS Socata is in talks with Spain's EADS Casa to form a new integrated light aircraft company uniting the French firm with Poland's EADS PZL.
EADS Casa has a 51% stake in the former PZL-Okecie as part of an offset related to a Polish air force purchase of eight C295 twin turboprops. The Spanish investment has been used to upgrade infrastructure and production equipment. EADS PZL recently delivered its first set of C295 outer wing panels, with EADS Casa planning to turn its Polish factory into a centre of excellence for aluminium structures.
EADS Socata, a wholly owned EADS subsidiary, is expected to integrate its general aviation aircraft and business turboprops into a combined range with EADS PZL's single-engined aircraft, including the PZL-104M Wilga, PZL-106 Turbo Kruk, PZL-160A Koliber, and PZL-130 TC-1 Orlik military trainer.
EADS Socata vice-president light aircraft sales and marketing Jacques Lordon says EADS Socata is "in talks" with EADS Casa. Polish sources add that the two are discussing co-operation.
EADS Casa says its two-year transition period ends next month and that the future structure of Spanish EADS operations is under review. Casa's Airbus and Eurofighter divisions have already been integrated into the respective EADS business units, with space set to follow soon, the company adds.
Casa's remaining division, military transport, will form the basis for Airbus Military, which has to be registered in Spain to assure A400M sales to the Spanish ministry of defence. EADS Casa "has a responsibility to find work and integrate its business into other EADS business units", says Lordon.
EADS PZL, which has extensive component work, replicates much of the work carried out at EADS Socata's facilities in Tarbes, France. As EADS integrates its business units it is understood to be keen to consolidate the two units.
EADS Socata says integration would lead to the Polish factory producing parts for all Socata aircraft.
Source: Flight International