- Title: From planes to PPE: Abu Dhabi aerospace emblem Strata chases new markets
- Date: 13th July 2020
- Summary: AL AIN, UAE (JULY 8, 2020) (REUTERS) AIRCRAFT SPARE PARTS AT STRATA FACTORY VARIOUS OF EMPLOYEE WIPING DOWN AIR CRAFT SPARE PARTS VARIOUS OF MACHINES MANUFACTURING FACE MASKS (SOUNDBITE) (English) STRATA CHIEF EXECUTIVE, ISMAIL ALI ABDULLA, SAYING: "From our perspective it is very important to ensure that we look at adjacent verticals where we can utilise the existing infrastructure that we have here, this exceptional infrastructure, utilising the individuals that we have been investing in for the past 10 years, my colleagues, Strata employees." VARIOUS OF EMPLOYEES SORTING OUT MASKS VARIOUS OF EMPLOYEE OPERATING MACHINE (SOUNDBITE) (English) STRATA CHIEF EXECUTIVE, ISMAIL ALI ABDULLA, SAYING: "There will be some insourcing. From our perspective, this is why we are actually looking at pivoting into new verticals to ensure that we have a sustainable company going into the future." VARIOUS OF EMPLOYEE OPERATING MACHINE AIRCRAFT SPARE PARTS (SOUNDBITE) (English) STRATA CHIEF EXECUTIVE, ISMAIL ALI ABDULLA, SAYING: "We continue to deliver on the agreed budget with the shareholder. Year on year, we have been meeting the requirement for the shareholder. From a socio-economic perspective, the bedrock for Strata and the cornerstone is investing in people. We've located this facility in the city of Al-Ain to produce and provide actually, jobs. We've been one of the largest employers in the city of Al-Ain for the past 10 years outside government entities. We are proud that today 60 percent of our workforce are actually UAE nationals, out of which 86 percent are ladies." VARIOUS OF EMPLOYEES WORKING ON SPARE PARTS (SOUNDBITE) (English) STRATA CHIEF EXECUTIVE, ISMAIL ALI ABDULLA, SAYING: "It is extremely critical. Today, we are an agile company we want to ensure we keep a close eye into the future and what's going to happen and we want to ensure there is opportunities that we can look at into the future in adjacent markets. For example, PPE we are not looking [at] it as a hot deal, for this year or a couple of years, no, we want it to be a sustainable business." VARIOUS OF EMPLOYEES WORKING ON FACE MASKS PRODUCTION LINE
- Embargoed: 27th July 2020 12:41
- Keywords: Airbus Aviation Boeing Coronavirus Health PPE Personal Protective Equipment
- Location: AL AIN, UAE
- City: AL AIN, UAE
- Country: UAE
- Topics: Company News Markets,Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA001CMN7V65
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Aerospace supplier Strata Manufacturing, a key player in efforts by oil producer Abu Dhabi to diversify into high-tech manufacturing, is chasing new income at a time of uncertainty about demand for plane parts.
Strata was set up a decade ago by Abu Dhabi's sovereign investment fund Mubadala in the oasis city of Al Ain with ambitions to become a top-three player in advanced composite materials.
It won contracts from Airbus and Boeing to supply parts for wide-body jets, such as those ordered in large numbers by Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways, in what many in the industry saw as a quid pro quo.
But with aviation in crisis over the pandemic, Strata is pursuing non-aerospace manufacturing - starting with personal protective equipment (PPE) that is in high demand due to the coronavirus itself.
It has begun manufacturing N95 masks in partnership with Honeywell, initially for entities in Abu Dhabi, part of the United Arab Emirates.
"We are an agile company. We want to ensure we keep a close eye on the future," Chief Executive Ismail Ali Abdulla said. "We want to ensure there are opportunities ... in adjacent markets."
Strata sprang out of the desert in 2009 as part of efforts to broaden the economy and support local employment in a country mostly populated by foreigners.
Its workforce is 60 percent Emirati of which most are women.
Abdulla declined to discuss financial performance but said Strata was staying within a budget agreed with Mubadala.
Strata builds parts for Airbus A330, A350 and Boeing 787 jets and the future Boeing 777X. A further line for A380 parts is to be removed after Airbus axed the superjumbo.
Plunging forecasts for long-haul travel are reflected on the shop floor, where around a dozen female workers were assembling N95 masks.
Few other workers were present, which the company ascribed to shift patterns as part of pandemic health measures.
Strata aims to renew its Airbus and Boeing contracts and is in talks with Swiss planemaker Pilatus. Abdulla warned that planemakers could cut back on business with suppliers as their own output slows due to the pandemic - while insisting there would ultimately be a future in aerospace for Strata.
(Production: Abdelhadi Ramahi, Tarek Fahmy)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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