Justin Wastnage / Toulouse

French aerostructures and cabling specialist Latécoère expects to broaden its customer base next year as a result of structural subcontract work from Boeing for the 7E7.

Latécoère, which missed out on fuselage section work on the Airbus A380, is keen to reduce its dependence on European airframers as it seeks to maintain an annual growth rate of around 10%.

The Toulouse-based company joined the 7E7 airframe technology team early last month and expects to be invited to join as a risk-sharing partner around the end of the year.

The company has already entered into advanced negotiations with Boeing about the design and construction of fuselage sections and doors for the proposed new aircraft, and would expect to be selected for at least one of these areas, says François Junca, chairman of Latécoère's supervisory board.

Latécoère took a strategic decision to undertake non-European work in the late 1980s, and worked on the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 under a contract with Spain's CASA.

The company, which has yet to work as a partner with Boeing, derives 66% of its turnover from Airbus-related programmes, says Junca. "Despite the size of Latécoère, Boeing realised we were the only ones with the experience of working on shared online design tools, like those of Dassault, Airbus and Bombardier," he says (Flight International, 8-14 July).

Latécoère is forecasting a 10% increase in sales this year, after recording a 14.3% rise in its first-half results. For the six months to 30 June, the company posted sales of g96.8 million ($114 million), up from g84.7 million for the same period last year.

Source: Flight International