On September 12th, Latecoere inaugurated its new plant in Plovdiv. This achievement is the result of a team effort with longtime partner Airbus, as well as local authorities and business facilitators in Bulgaria: the government, the French Embassy and the CCI France Bulgarie.
Prime Minister Boyko Borissov detailed how the Bulgarian government have supported this project from the start. His speech echoed the August 2017 declaration of President Emmanuel Macron in Varna, capitalizing on a partnership approach between both countries and making the choice of exemplary, convergence and solidity within the European Union.
Serge Durand (VP Airbus) highlighted the long trust relationship between Airbus and Latecoere, adding that the Plovdiv facility could become a benchmark for the Bulgarian industry.
Financed through the Transformation 2020 plan’s competitiveness investment program, the facility will operate as an assembly plant for avionic racks and aerostructures sub-assemblies with a view to recapturing value added by offering a competitive assembly solution working in synergy with the existing French and Czech units. The Group aims to build up the site from an initial 5,000 square meters to 9,000 square meters with capacity for over 200,000 hours of annual production by the end of 2019. A total investment budget of around €15 million has been allocated to the factory from now until 2020.
Since the start of construction, an ambitious plan has been rolled out to train employees in the aeronautics professions (around 200 people) in line with production forecasts of Airbus programs (A350, A380, A400M and A320). The first product (A350 avionic rack) was delivered in early September.
The Bulgarian plant is a great example of European aeronautical cooperation, built upon Latecoere’s industrial excellence and the common ambition to shape the aviation of tomorrow.