The Swiss aerospace industry is comprised of more than 500 companies that provide approximately 160,000 jobs for specialists and workers activating in this field and it contributes with roughly 6% to the national GDP. These numbers are quite astonishing considering the size of the country; yet again aerospace industries had a good development over time.
The most important players in this industry are companies involved in the aircraft manufacturing business, namely Pilatus and RUAG, both companies having strong ties with suppliers from the United Kingdom. Pilatus also supplied the UAE Air Force and Air Defense with aircrafts worth over 500 million dollars, thus significantly contributing to the growth of the Switzerland aerospace industry.
Moreover, Switzerland is also a preferred location for MROs (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Organizations) for companies activating in the aviation business.
The only Swiss aircraft producer, Pilatus Aircraft, produces and develops high-performance turboprops with single engines and turbo aircrafts for military training. RUAG, which is owned by the government, is active in the Aerospace and Technology sector and in the Defense and Security sector. However, with the acquisition of another company, Oerlikon Space, RUAG has consolidated its position in the aerospace industry globally.
In addition to the main players, Switzerland has approximately 25 other manufactures that are involved in the production, development and assembly of structural components, system integration and services for aircrafts and helicopters.
Parts and components used in the production of equipment, for the maintenance and overhaul of aircraft flight instruments and communication instruments used in the aerospace industry make it possible for various other companies to build profitable business relationships with Swiss aerospace companies.
The business aviation
This business aviation sector is also growing in Switzerland, especially because of the increasing number of business trips that are required for various other companies that are conducting business operations in the country. Switzerland holds third place in Europe regarding the number of registered jets and specialized firms in business aviation. As a result, there is also a high demand for MRO services, avionics and interior refurbishments.
Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul in the aerospace industry
An estimated number of 100 companies are licensed to carry out repair works for private aviation and airlines. The world’s largest MRO companies, SR Technics (specialized in airlines) and Jet Aviation (specialized in private aviation) are also included.
There are several business opportunities in this field, including a wide range of products, from repair works and interior refurbishments to avionics retrofit and licensed personnel working in the Switzerland aerospace industry.
Doing business in the Switzerland aerospace industries
Even though Switzerland is not part of the European Union, this is the most important trading partner. Switzerland has close business ties the European Union in most business sectors; however it has established its own standards and regulations which are often valid within the European Community.
Companies interested in pursuing business activities in the Swiss aerospace industries must provide the necessary documentation in at least one of the official languages in Switzerland (German, Italian and French).
For most Swiss business partners, quality and technical criteria are more important than the price, even when it comes to public procurements. The Swiss aerospace industry is characterized by high demands and requirements from supplier and manufacturers, flexibility, high quality services and commitment to satisfy the demands of the Swiss market.
Aerospace companies in Switzerland
Some of the biggest aerospace companies in Switzerland include the following:
AMAC Aerospace was founded in 20017, in Basel. The company is the largest privately owned facility in the world, offering VIP Completion and Maintenance services for the corporate and private aviation industry.
RUAG Space is the leading aerospace company in Switzerland. The companies that are now part of RUAG have been involved in Swiss space activities even since the beginning. For example, RUAG Space has been responsible for the manufacturing and development of payload fairing, which are used to protect satellites on the nose of the launch vehicle from the forces they are exposed to during their journey into space.
Aurora Swiss Aerospace is providing equipment, support and is fulfilling the operation needs of mostly European customers.
Jet Aviation is a Basel-based company that is approved to act as a service center for Airbus, Dassault, Bombardier, Gulfstream and Embraer aircrafts.
Emteq Europe is focused mainly on the manufacturing of exterior lights and on navigation systems and avionics for the aviation industry.
Considering the large number of companies activating in Switzerland aerospace industries, there are also plenty of jobs available for highly skilled professionals, granted they fulfill the legal requirements of obtaining a Swiss work permit.