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INTERIORS: EAM Worldwide bids for a share of escape slide market

EAM Worldwide is hoping to take on the incumbents in the market for escape slides with its first product in the segment.

It has produced a single-lane evacuation slide for Airbus A320-family jets, with plans to introduce further products to complete the shipset - off-wing and slide rafts - next year, alongside slides for doors two and three on the larger A321.

The Miami, Florida-based company already manufactures life rafts and life vests and sees the expansion as a natural extension of its range.

"We intend to be much more competitive on price than our rivals," says Kasey Hayes, marketing manager. "It's a market that's been pretty much locked-up since the start of aviation and we are now giving customers an option."

Manny Gato, director of sales, adds: "Our clients have been requesting a slide product for several years. We will meet and exceed their needs."

Gato says the company is around a month away from achieving certification of the slide, with manufacturing expected to commence in the third quarter for delivery next year.

It has secured several launch customers, he says, but declines to reveal further details.

Four repair stations, two in Europe and two in Asia-Pacific, all of which are part of its existing service network, have been designated to maintain the new slides.