The aerospace sector was probably among the hardest hit by the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, according to some industry analysts including Roland Berger (Figure 1), the recovery has now begun (scenario 2) and even if it will take a while to get back to pre-pandemic levels, many companies are still getting back on the road to face the challenges of the coming decades, mainly related to decarbonisation, i.e. the 50% reduction of CO2 emissions by 2050 (Figure 2).
In this sense, a fundamental role will be played by the Polish aeronautical manufacturing sector. In the south-east of Poland, in fact, there is the Aviation Valley, a cluster of companies active in the aerospace sector born in 2003 with the aim of developing the aeronautical industry of the region through collaborations in the field of research and development, the cost reduction through the development of an integrated supply chain and collaboration with local and international institutes.
Which companies are part of the Aviation Valley?
For those who are not familiar with this business, it might seem strange that a high-tech sector such as aeronautics is so strongly developed in a geographical area of Eastern Europe. For the others, it may not sound strange: in this area, in fact, leaders in the aeronautical sector have chosen to open their production plants: for example, we are talking about Pratt & Whitney, one of the 3 major aircraft engine manufacturers along with GE Aviation and Rolls-Royce. More specifically, between Rzeszów and Kalisz some of the most critical components of the PurePower Engine family with Geared Turbofan (GTF) architecture are produced. In fact, this architecture allows a significant reduction in consumption thanks to the introduction of a power gearbox located between the fan and the low pressure turbine.
Not only that: always in Rzeszów we find MB Aerospace, another international player and manufacturer of various primary components at the engine level. With several offices spread across Europe, the United Kingdom, the United States and Asia, MB boasts multiple production sites in Poland.
Also MTU Aero Engines, German company leader in the production of motor components, has chosen Rzeszów for its headquarters in Poland.
Rolls-Royce did the same, which opened its strategic JV with Safran Transmission Systems in Ropczyce. In fact, in 2014 AeroGearbox International was announced, with the aim of developing the accessory boxes of future Rolls-Royce engines.
An ideal ecosystem for the aeronautical engineering sector
The fall of the Soviet Union starting in the 90s allowed the development of Eastern European markets mainly thanks to low-cost manufacturing.
However, Poland historically also stands out for its high technological skills, with first-rate engineering companies that, with the opening of the markets, have been able to expand beyond national borders. An example? Seco/Warwick, a well-known manufacturer especially in the world of heat treatment plants with a century-old history, which was born in the United States to develop on a global scale. Today the headquarters are located in Poland, precisely in Swiebodzin, not far from Poznan.
Another not negligible factor is the presence of a rapidly growing infrastructure, especially in the main arteries. Rzeszów, for example, can be reached from Krakow airport in just 2 hours by car thanks to its (free) motorway.
Another non-negligible factor is the excellent knowledge of the English language on which it is possible to rely in industrial centers: compared to some European companies (Italy, Spain and France experience), in Poland it is certainly easier to develop your business in English.
Finally, the national currency, the złoty, favors exports due to its inherent weakness compared to the stronger euro and dollar.
A European region to focus on to develop your business
Based on this, the Polish Aviation Valley promises to be an expanding sector to focus on for the next few years, without bothering more exotic places such as India, China or Mexico.
We can therefore summarize the main advantages in the following points:
- presence of leading aeronautical companies at international level
- presence of a well-developed supply chain
- low labor costs (no one knows yet for how long!)
- high skills in manufacturing technology
- developed and expanding infrastructure
- fluency in English
- the weakness of the national currency favors exports
How can we help you?
If you are an engineering company and want to get in touch with this reality, Accialini Training & Consulting can provide you with a valid point of contact to expand your business in the region. In fact, we are able to provide you with support in the management of business activities in the region and to direct you to one or more companies that may be interested in your services.
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Finally, if you are interested in expanding your business independently but do not have the necessary confidence in the English language, we can offer you private 1-to-1 classes all completely online (no waste of transport time and less costs!) and with mother tongue teachers. Read here.
For more info, contact us to discuss more details.
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