France is the partner country of ILA Berlin 2018. It’s hard to imagine a more suitable partner: French aerospace companies are global leaders. With annual revenues of 60.4 billion Euro, about 187,000 workers and an export share (41.1 billion €) totaling 86 percent of consolidated revenues, the industry serves as one of the nation’s most vibrant economic sectors. France as the partner country of ILA 2018 offers further proof that ILA stands for Innovation & Leadership in Aerospace.
A unique partnership
The partnership represents the next milestone in the history of successful cooperation between France and Germany in the aerospace industry. Worldwide, no other two countries work so closely together like France and Germany. The partnership will be a highlight of this year’s airshow, which will serve to deepen ties between the two nations.
Airbus is imbued with European DNA like no other company: Of its 134,000 employees, 47,000 are based in Germany and 45,000 in France. Delivery records in Hamburg and Toulouse in 2017, collaboration on key innovations and global programs like the Airbus A350 and the A320 family offer ample proof of this multination European success story. The dynamic fuels momentum across the industry, as the company works with several thousand suppliers primarily based in Germany and France.
Defense and security
The French-German ILA partnership also reflects the ambitious cooperation between the two nations in the area of defense. In the summer of 2017, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave the green light for studying a wholly new kind of combat air system with a common road map issued mid-2018. They decided to follow up the studies of Eurodrone program with Spain and Italy. Projects of this magnitude can surely only be successfully executed with a strong French-German partnership.
Europe’s independent access to space is assured by the commitment of France and Germany and the solidarity demonstrated by the other ESA nations. The Ariane rocket is one of the most prominent examples of cooperation: The partners are now developing the sixth generation of the rocket, which is scheduled to have its first launch in 2020. The Ariane program has set new benchmarks for decades. For example, the 83rd successful launch in a row took place in January 2018. No other rocket offers this level of reliability.
France as the partner country of ILA 2018 signals a new chapter for European cooperation. Both nations embrace their shared responsibility to use innovation to ensure a strong, united Europe in the future. When President Macron outlined his vision for Europe in a speech held on September 26, 2017, he unambiguously affirmed this role and named defense policy as the first of six key points required to rebuild Europe.
With France as the partner country, ILA Berlin 2018 promises to be more exciting than ever. In the words of Dr. Klaus Richter, President of the German Aerospace Industries Association (BDLI): “France and Germany have always been strategic partners in aerospace. Now, with ILA 2018 we enter a new era in Franco-German relations – and send a strong message to policymakers and the public throughout Europe.”