Geven is expanding the customer base for its aircraft passenger seats and increasing manufacturing capacity to meet the growing demand.
What has been Geven’s evolution in the seat manufacturing segment?
Geven started in 1984 producing seats for the marine and railway industry segments, even if the main objective of Getulio Veneruso, my father and CEO, was to enter the aviation industry, which is incredibly challenging.
Initially, our strategy involved simple products. We started with retrofit programs and once we gained some experience, Airbus trusted Geven by allowing it to enter their A320 catalogue with the Piuma model, a very simple fixed backrest economy class seat. Thanks to our performances in terms of on-time delivery and quality, we have been allowed to enter also their A330 and A380 catalogue, with more complex products, like Premium Economy and Business Class, with full IFE. We are currently entering the A350 catalogue too, which was our final target with Airbus.
What are the company’s growth targets?
In 2005, we invested into a new 40, 000 m2 manufacturing plant, which is much larger than our previous location in San Sebastiano. In 2014, we acquired another two buildings, which, combined, provide 40,000 additional m2, and we are now planning to open a fourth plant of 50,000 m2 in the years to come. In 2009, we were awarded a contract with ATR for the supply of Economy and Premium Economy seats for the ATR 42 and 72 aircraft: as of today, we have delivered in excess of 460 ship-sets. The contract was on a non-exclusive basis, but so far 100% of the airlines have selected the Geven seats for their aircraft. Currently, we are developing the new generation of seats which will replace the previous ones by 2018. With regard to Boeing, we are confident that we will be supplying seats for linefit installation on new Boeing aircraft sooner or later.
Geven has created a new company called SkyTecno. What is the objective of this?
SkyTecno is a mechanical company that works exclusively for Geven. Today we have 80% in-house manufacturing and 20% outsourcing. This allows us to be more competitive in terms of cost and flexibility. Geven’s quality also had an incredible improvement given the machines that were created for our specific needs. Today, we have 0% scrap rate of the parts that come from SkyTecno.
With thousands of new planes needed in Asia in the future, does Geven have a strategy for that continent?
Geven supplies more than 250 airlines around the world and we are currently working to increase our presence in Asia and the U.S. In Asia we have agents and we are opening a new distribution center in Singapore to accelerate delivery times for spare parts and offer better support. Singapore is a strategic location and we have a good partner there. In the U.S. we have a distribution center in California that serves our customers in South America, and we are planning to open two commercial offices in Seattle and Miami to increase our sales in North America.
What is the outlook for Geven in the medium term?
Our core business is the Economy Class. Geven focuses on airlines’ demands and specifically in minimizing weight and increasing comfort. Essenza, our new product for single aisle application, allow for the installation at a pitch of 27 inches. Generally the pitch is around 29 to 30 inches in high-density configurations. This product has already a launch customer that signed a long-term contract of $75 million. For the twin aisle market we are completing the development of another product named Elemento that will guarantee low weight and excellent levels of comfort for long-range platforms. The next step will be the development of a new Business Class for long-range applications.