IPM Investment, for this project investment, is teaming with HH Sheikha Hind bint Abdul Aziz Al-Qasimi, Chairperson, Emirates Business Women Council (EBWC), to offer GCC high net-worth leading businesswomen the opportunity invest in this unique and highly-profitable aircraft seating and interiors project.
At an investor event held at The Address Hotel, Dubai Marina yesterday (Saturday, June 11th), HH Sheikha Hind bint Abdul Aziz Al-Qasimi presented this investment project, and the Joint Venture between the Swiss United Seating Technologies and Aerospace Life-Support Industries, a wholly-owned company of China Aviation Industry Company of China, and emphasized the role of Women in the Aviation Industry.
The joint venture will become a global player in aircraft interiors, by producing a full line of seats. It plans to introduce nine models to begin with, covering economy, premium economy, business and first class for existing aircraft types and new-generation aircraft.
“We see this joint venture becoming a major player in the aircraft seating and interior market, where new products are in high demand and supplies are insufficient,” said IPM’s Chairman, Captain Mohamed Al-Minhali.
The Joint Venture structured by and between Aerospace Life-Support Industries, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and Corporate Consulta S.A., a Swiss Corporation that has Aerospace Life-Support Industries and United Seating Technologies, a creation of Corporate Consulta S.A. establishing “Jiahang United Seating Technologies” (JUST). United Seating Technologies brings together a design partner Bertone, boasting a century of experience (beginning with seats for the automobile industry) and an engineering and manufacturing partner Optimares, with ultramodern capabilities.
Its first product is the economy class X-Light. Combining aluminium and carbon composite technology, the seat weighs 6kg per passenger place. The company also intends to apply this technology to its premium economy, business- and first-class seats.
The joint venture came about as the result of assessments made independently by all the parties. Each perceived an increasing demand for all types of aircraft interiors for the foreseeable future. The discussions accelerated after reviewing the 2010 Boeing estimate of new aircraft to be delivered over the next 20 years. The 30,900 deliveries projected would generate approximately six million passenger places for line fit. Meanwhile, industry indices for refurbishment indicate that as many as 16 million passenger places will be required for new aircraft alone. JUST calculated that this, combined with the refurbishment of aircraft currently in service, places the demand for new seating at over 20 million over the next 20 years.
The joint venture decided that the Aviation Industry Corporation of China’s (AVIC) facility in Xiangyang, China, was an ideal manufacturing location. The Aerospace Life-Support subsidiary has vast experience in building fighter aircraft ejector seats, helicopter seats and the like for the military. Located in one of China’s most modern manufacturing parks, all of the equipment was in place and capacity expansion was not an issue.
Architect Franco Carretto, head of Bertone’s transportation design unit, was on hand. Carretto has previously worked for Giugiaro Design, where his designs included mass transport vehicles for Chinese, Finnish, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish companies. In aviation he has provided his expertise for major airlines including Singapore Airlines and Qantas, and for aircraft manufacturers such as Airbus for its flagship, the A380.
United Seating Technologies UAE (UST-UAE), investment project of IPM Investment LLC will be equity shareholder in the Swiss “United Seating Technologies” and hold 30% of its shares. Furthermore, UST-UAE will also assist the Joint Venture with a support base in the UAE, ideally located in the heart of the Middle East, selling and supporting the products in the regional market.
So with a €100m (Dhs526.9m) commitment, the capabilities necessary to engineer technologically advanced aircraft seats, world-class equipment, new facilities in a modern manufacturing park, a trained labour force, a leading design organisation and an experienced technical and commercial team in place and, a know-how valued at a further €100m – for a total commitment of €200m (Dhs1.05bn), the joint venture is now ready for business.
Aircraft Seating is one of Aviations most complex industry as it not only deals with engineering and production but mostly being influenced by very subjective tastes in the style, colours and the ergonomic aspect of the product itself.
Sunday, June 12- 2011 @ 15:43 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.