27 November 2012

A350 XWB Belly Fairing work package for -1000 not assigned yet. Alestis Spanish Tier1 financial problems could force Airbus to move the job to France.

As stated in Spanish newspapers mentioned below, it seems that Airbus has lost the confidence in Alestis and the belly fairing for -1000 model has not been automatically asigned to the same supplier that is currently manufacturing it for -900/-800 models.
Alestis Aerospace, one of the three Spanish Tier1 in the A350 XWB program, is facing a cash crunch and from May this year, it was placed under court administration so it is operating from one bill to the next. Money troubles that Alestis is facing are partially related to the heavy investments done to develop parts for A350 XWB in expectations of fat payoffs. Airbus has taken the control of the group as new CEO was former managing director of Airbus Military facility of Tablada (Sevilla).

If the Belly Fairing for -1000 (currently under conceptual-design phase in Toulouse) is assigned to a French supplier –the centre fuselage is a French package-, the workshare of the A350 XWB between 4 European main Nations will be different and Spain would decrease the 11% that currently has in the A350-900, with more than 1.800 direct jobs in Spain.

Alestis also designs and builds the Section 19.1 of the Rear Fuselage, delivered directly to the FAL in Toulouse. The commonality of this fuselage section with the -1000 model will be higher than in the complex belly fairing

Meanwhile, Alestis has delivered the HTP-Tips (a subassembly of metallic and composite parts) and strakelets (2 fairing in the HTP) for the 787-9 to Boeing last week. Alestis CEO said that “Alestis will keep on demonstrating to Boeing that we are good partners, as Boeing is a strategic customer that Alestis has to take care of”. Alestis is the single source for these two work packages and there are involved 3 plants in the manufacturing (metallic parts in Miñano, composite parts in San Pablo) and the assembly (Aeropolis-Sevilla).

Based on the article “El peso de España en Airbus, en riesgo por la crisis de un proveedor” published in Abc.es and on the article “Alestis se acerca al precipicio al no lograr la renovación de un megacontrato de Airbus” published in Expansión.

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