Nine companies from Seville and Cádiz are looking for new business opportunities in the latest edition of this professional forum that was visited by 650 professionals from 250 firms from 20 countries

Andalucía TRADE has organized the participation of nine firms from Seville and Cádiz from the aeronautical and defense sector in the seventh edition of the Aerospace Meeting Casablanca fair, which was held from October 3 to 5 at the OFEC exhibition center in Casablanca (Morocco ). This event, which is considered the main one in the sector in North Africa, has received 650 professionals from 250 companies from 20 countries in this edition.

Andalusia’s participation in this event is part of the collaboration agreement signed by Andalucía TRADE with Andalucia Aerospace in 2023 to give a greater boost to the international activity of the Andalusian aerospace industry. One of the great milestones for the sector this year has been the participation of Andalusia in the 54th Paris Air Show Le Bourget (June), a forum in which the seventh edition of Aerospace & Defense Meeting-ADM Seville 2024 was presented, a reference point of the world circuit of the sector that will be held from May 14 to 16.

Furthermore, this sector is strategic for the Andalusian Government, which has designed the ‘Aerospace Strategy of Andalusia 2021-2027’, a program that responds to the need to support a highly complex industry that is at the forefront of technology and that It has maximum capacity to attract foreign investment projects.

With this context, the Andalusian aeronautical industry maintains its potential as a leading sector in the community, to which are added international sales figures, in the first seven months of 2023, of more than 900 million euros, which places Andalusia as the second largest exporting community in Spain, with 23.4% of the total, only surpassed by the Community of Madrid. Likewise, the community enjoys a trade surplus worth 386 million euros.

Likewise, thanks to the organization of Andalusia TRADE, Andalusian firms have participated in the Region’s institutional exhibitor in the event that has become an exceptional platform that brings together the best professionals from the aeronautical, aerospace and defense sector, and constitutes the ideal forum to discuss and expand knowledge about this industry and its advances such as digitalization.

This meeting also acts as a support for small and medium-sized companies to identify future business partners and to deepen already consolidated business relationships, given that the exchange of business synergies is promoted through high-level meetings.

Andalusian companies

Andalusian firms have exhibited their know-how at the Aerospace Meeting Casablanca, and have been able to establish B2B contacts while expanding their knowledge of the Moroccan aeronautical industry, a natural market for Andalusia given its geographical proximity. The proximity of the main hubs and assembly lines of Airbus and Boeing, and a close association with the latter operator, generate multiple opportunities for suppliers and exporters in the sector.

Of the Andalusian companies that have participated in the Moroccan fair, five of them come from Cádiz (Aerointer, Aerotecnic, the Aeronautical Business Council of Cádiz, Fid Aeronáutica and Titania) and the rest from Seville (ITE-Business Technological Integration), Maquinser, Mesima Sevilla and Curtis-Wright). The organization of this action by Andalucía TRADE will be co-financed with funds from the European Union through the P.O. ERDF of Andalusia 2014-2020, with a community contribution of 80%, or any other European Program that may co-finance this action.

A spearhead industry in Andalusia

Andalusia is one of the main aerospace hubs in Europe, due to its business ecosystem, its business volume and its infrastructure and innovation programs. In addition, it is the only one, along with Toulouse and Hamburg, that has the final assembly plant for a large aircraft, the AIRBUS A400M, which acts as its driving industry, which is why the sector is defined as an increasingly more strategic.

A total of 90 companies of the 143 that operate nationally in the sector make up their professional activity, and they generate 13,136 direct jobs. For this reason, Andalucía TRADE maintains its internationalization plan for the sector through extensive programming focused on participating in the main international fairs, the development of commercial missions to the main markets, such as participation in Aerospace Meeting Casablanca.

Andalusia, second community in sales

The Andalusian aeronautical industry also remains the second largest exporting community, with 905 million euros in the period from January to July 2023, 23.4% of the 3,870 million that Spain exports to foreign trade, only behind the Community of Madrid. (2,179 million). Likewise, the sector maintains a positive trade balance, with a surplus of 386 million. In this period, sales have decreased slightly by 1.1%.

Within the Andalusian aeronautical industry, the first chapter in sales is that of airplanes and other aircraft weighing more than 15,000 kg, with 360 million, 40% of the total and a drop of 29.8%; followed by the other parts of airplanes and helicopters, with 250 million, with 27.6% of the total and an increase of 23.9%; airplanes and other aircraft of up to 15,000 kg, with 196 million, 21.6% of the total and an increase of 85%. In fourth place, propellers and their parts, with 26.2 million, 2.9% and an advance of 18%; and turbojets, in fifth place, with 21 million, 2.3% and an increase of 28.1%.

Seville, epicenter of the industry

Seville remains the epicenter of Andalusian aeronautics, to which provinces such as Cádiz or Málaga also contribute, while others are joining with great growth. Seville concentrates 98% of sales with 891 million and a slight decrease of 1.1%; while Cádiz is second, with 6.4 million and an increase of 5.1%; followed by Málaga, which had a turnover of 3.8 million, which fell by 36%; and Córdoba, with 2.9 million, which increased 83% year-on-year.

Regarding the markets, in this period exports grew in nine of the top ten destinations. France leads sales in this period, and accounts for 38% of the bill, thanks to a growth of 49%, reaching 341 million euros; followed by the United Kingdom, with 149 million, 16.5% of the total and more than triple sales thanks to an increase of 241%.

In third place is Ireland, with 85 million euros, and the best increase of the top ten markets, thanks to an increase of 154,863%. The United States is the first non-European market, occupying fourth position in exports with 72 million, 7.9% of the total and an increase of 38%; and, in fifth place, Germany, with 55 million, 6% and an increase of 40%.

An extensive program to continue growing

Last year, Andalucía TRADE organized thirty actions to promote the Andalusian aerospace sector, in which 59 Andalusian companies participated, a figure equivalent to 83% of the exporting companies in the sector (71) in 2022, which supports the usefulness of this strategy. Among them, the organization of international events stands out such as the Aeroespace & Defense Meeting-ADM Seville, the main business forum in Southern Europe, which last year, in its sixth edition, had 1,200 professionals from 323 companies from 29 countries.

In 2023, Andalusia was also at the Paris Air Show Le Bourget (8 Andalusian firms), a forum in which ADM Sevilla 2024 was presented. Likewise, this year they highlighted the Aerospace Meeting held in Seville with 29 Andalusian companies and agents from six countries; the trade mission to India, held in May, with eight companies; and direct missions to the Space Comm Expo in Farnborough (United Kingdom) and MRO Americas (Atlanta); or those planned for the rest of the year, such as the webinar on the aerospace, defense and naval sectors in Colombia and the prospective visit to the main aeronautical sector fair in Washington, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).