France Aerospace Newsletter

This newsletter provides headlines, corporate appointments, key figures and business opportunities in the French aerospace sector. It is meant as a business tool between the UK industry and the aerospace team at the British Embassy in France, with the aim of channeling industry interest in pursuing new opportunities highlighted in the newsletter.


  • DELTA ORDERS 100 A321neo

Delta Air Lines announced a firm order for 100 Airbus A321neo aircrafts with a list value of $12.7 billion and selected Pratt & Whitney engines as part of its deal. Delta will start taking delivery of the first 100 jets in 2020.The aircraft will replace Delta's fleet of McDonnell-Douglas MD-88s and will consume up to 40% less fuel per passenger. Airbus announced in a statement that "most" of the 100 jets will be assembled in Mobile, Alabama and is considering increasing output at the factory beyond the four jets it makes each month. Delta’s announcement on the A321neo follows several orders in recent years for the current engine option version of the A321. Delta has ordered a total of 117 A321ceos, each powered by CFM56 engines.


Aerospace and defence group Thales has agreed to acquire digital company Gemalto in a deal worth close to €4.8bn. The agreement came shortly after Gemalto rejected a €4.3bn proposal by rival Atos. The combined business will generate €3.5bn in sales and rank among the top three players worldwide in the digital security market. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2018.


The European Commission approved the merger of Safran and Zodiac clearing a key hurdle to uniting France’s two largest aeronautic suppliers. Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement that “both Safran and Zodiac are significant French actors in the aeronautics markets but competition in these markets in Europe will remain strong,”. The antitrust authorities had focused their investigation on two areas: how the deal would impact the market for aircraft electrical systems and if the new entity could exclude competitors. Officials concluded the deal raised “no competition concerns in any of the markets concerned.”


Dassault Chief Executive Eric Trappier has decided “to launch a new Falcon project powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada engines, featuring the same cross section as the Falcon 5X… scheduled to enter into service in 2022.” Dassault is focussing on three models to renew its portfolio in the face of rising business-jet competition: the Falcon 8X which entered service in 2016, a second jet due to be defined at the end of this year and the replacement of the Falcon 5X.



On 15 December the Airbus Board of Directors announced top management succession plans. According to the plan CEO Tom Enders will seek no further mandate beyond April 2019, COO and President Commercial Aircraft Fabrice Brégier will step down in February 2018 and Guillaume Faury, currently CEO Airbus Helicopters, will succeed Fabrice Brégier as President Airbus Commercial Aircraft. Tom Enders stated that “Guillaume represents our next generation of leaders and has demonstrated broad business and industry experience, an international mindset and a clear focus on delivering value during his tenure at the helm of our helicopter business."



The Department for International Trade and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are organising an event at the Ambassador’s Residence in Paris which will include panel discussions, company presentations and B2B matchmaking sessions. The event – Reaching New Heights: ramping up Franco-British cooperation in the aerospace supply chain – will look at areas where UK and French suppliers can work together to cope with accelerating production requirements, while leveraging new technologies, and ensuring supply chain agility and robustness. The event is an opportunity for UK business to engage with French industry primes.


For additional information please contact:

Charly Gordon ( – British Embassy Paris

Catherine Cestari ( – British Consulate Bordeaux

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