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22 September 2020
by Eero Pärgmäe
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Estonia can become one of the TOP 20 aeronautics countries in the world

“Estonian aeronautics start-up AirTaburet just won the procurement of one of the world’s largest aeronautics corporations, Airbus, for the production of new generation seats for the most common aircraft type, A320. The new seats are foldable and 150-200 grams lighter, which allows aircraft operators to save tens of tons of fuel. The world of aviation is very impressed with the innovation of Estonians. The seats will be replaced in the next 6-12 months.”

“Sounds like a far-fetched example, but news like this could be true in 2023, just two years after the first aeronautics training offered to Estonian companies,” dreams the man behind the training, Head of the Estonian Aviation Cluster Kristo Reinsalu. “By this time, there will be at least 30 companies among our members that manufacture various details for the industry where margins reach thousands of percent.”

Estonia can become one of the TOP 20 aeronautics countries in the world. This is one of the goals of the Estonian Aviation Cluster and the first successful step towards this achievement was taken last week. The training ‘How to get your foot in the door of the global aeronautics industry’, which was carried out by Pärtel-Peeter Kruuv, Interior Project Manager at Magnetic MRO, which produces interior details for Airbus, was held in cooperation with the Federation of Estonian Engineering Industry.

Magnetic MRO has cooperated with Estonian companies as well as giant Chinese factories within the scope of various production projects in the last five years. “There is considerable experience in the automobile and even space industry in Estonia, which can be successfully applied in the aeronautics industry,” said Pärtel-Peeter Kruuv with conviction, encouraging local companies to be more ambitious in their mindset and operations. “We will help with the first steps; the specific product or service will be defined in the course of joint development,” said Kruuv.

CEO of Skarcon Machining Marek Lentsius believes that Estonian companies should produce for the aeronautics industry because the margins are very high, irrespective of small quantities of batches. Manager of the Federation of Estonian Engineering Industry Triin Ploompuu sees aeronautics as an attractive field. “The production capacity of the engineering industry, which comprises 70% of the exports of the Estonian manufacturing industry, could be very successfully used in aviation,” she said. “Agility and the ability to also manufacture small batches are the advantages of our companies.”

“Aircraft manufacturers have to renew their fleets in order to become climate neutral,” said Kristo Reinsalu of the Aviation Cluster. “One aircraft costs 100-300 million euros. We want Airbus, Safran or even Bombardier and Embraer to bring at least some of their factories to Estonia, and this dream is closer to coming true today than ever before.” According to Reinsalu, Estonian aviation companies are feeling positive irrespective of the complicated situation in the world and will not stop trying until at least one massive victory like this is achieved in Estonian aviation. “Members of the Estonian Government, the Estonian Investment Agency of Enterprise Estonia, economic attachés and foreign representatives from all over the world can contribute to this,” he emphasised.

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