03 August 2018

Exclusive: Serge Durand, Airbus director: Romania is an important country for Airbus, but the “unsteady” situation is not beneficent for the business domain

Mihai Draghici

Romania is an “important country” for Airbus, says, in an interview for MEDIAFAX, Serge Durand, Airbus Romania director, presenting a series of objectives, but underlining that the actual “unsteady” situation is not beneficial for the business domain.

Serge Durand, Airbus Romania director, talked, in an interview for MEDIAFAX and Defence and Security Monitor, about company’s objectives, presenting his perspective about the business domain in Romania.


Mihai Draghici, reporter: What’s Romania’s position, at this moment, on Airbus Company’s interest business map?

Serge Durand: Romania is still a very important country for Airbus. You know we had a friendship for over half a century; we collaborated with Romania, between Airbus and IAR, for 46 years, we manufactured under Puma license, we created a new company in Brasov in 2002, a common group with IAR; we also created another Airbus company, Premium Aerotec, a big company, 800 people working in Brasov; recently we launched Airbus Helicopters, whose perspective is to produce a new helicopter, even if, unfortunately, the production did not started yet; we have a head office for planning activities in Bucharest, which works for Airbus Aerospace. All in all, 1300 people work for Airbus Romania, unofficially being created 5000 jobs. Hence, Airbus base is still very big in Romania.

Mihai Draghici, reporter: what are the goals to be attained, in 2018, in Romania?

Serge Durand: My main objective is to win an auction that the Ministry of Internal Affairs is having regarding the acquirement of helicopters that are to be used by SMURD, so winning this auction is our main goal. Second of all, we want to secure Airbus’s position in the military area, focusing on Puma helicopters fleet, we think we have a product to replace this fleet. So, we want to be considered. If Romania wants to consider buying attack helicopters, why not, Airbus wants to be considered, consulted, because we have good products, and we want to be a part of the game, we want a fair competition. We propose a series of advantages as contracts for supplementary services, big industrial bases, which we want to be considered. We are ready to enter a fair competition and we are ready to win it.

Mihai Draghici, reporter: Romania allocated 2% from GDP for defence. What does that means for Airbus business activities?

Serge Durand: This is very important. The European defence project, as a European citizen, I am happy with that decision. Unfortunately, if we look back in the last 10 years, regarding this GDP percentage allocated to budget defence, at the moment, from this 2%, only a very small amount from this budget was allocated to European companies.  

Mihai Draghici, reporter: What’s your assessments about the business environment in Romania?

Serge Durand: At the moment, if I would speak only about the aeronautical industry, we are in some kind of niche, because we have long term partners, if we are talking about Airbus, we are together with the aeronautical industry, we created an association called ARIE- Romanian society of helicopter industry-, we are together with IAR, with Turbomecanica, Aerotec, COMOTI; hence, we are together now and we would like to be as well in the future. At the moment, we are in a very good situation, but, in the last few years, we did not see any good responses from the Government regarding our products; this is concerning. At the same time, the actual situation is unsteady, has a lack of stability, and this is not good for business.