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Airbus, Hexcel Celebrate Milestone Production Rate, Decades of Collaboration During National Composites Week

Airbus Americas Vice President of Procurement, Pierre-Laurent Mace (center), and members of the Hexcel Salt Lake City manufacturing team celebrate more than 40 years of the two companies collaborating and growing jobs in the U.S. (Photo: Business Wire)

SALT LAKE CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

@Airbus @AirbusintheUS @HexcelCorp

Airbus today joined Hexcel in Salt Lake City to thank the company’s employees for more than 40 years of collaboration and success, and to recognize that the plant has reached a signification milestone: entering its first year at full rate for the A350 program. The event was timed to coincide with the launch of the first National Composites Week, which has been established to celebrate the growing influence of composites--especially in commercial aerospace. Hexcel has been a prime supplier of composite materials to Airbus since the early 1970s when carbon fiber spoilers and fairings for the first A300 were manufactured. Today, Hexcel products are found on every Airbus commercial aircraft in service.

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Hexcel Salt Lake City supports Airbus programs with multiple carbon fiber lines and has ramped up production steadily over the past several years to meet Airbus requirements. The plant is producing record-setting volume of aerospace-grade carbon fiber used to produce material for Airbus and its suppliers. Several other Hexcel plants worldwide also support various Airbus programs.

“Airbus has worked with Hexcel for more than 40 years, from the A300B back in the '70s, where the first secondary structures were made in composite, to today with the A350 XWB. This aircraft is more than 50 percent lightweight composite material. Combined with the very latest aerodynamics, and the new generation engines, the A350 XWB brings a 25% advantage in fuel burn and operating costs. Each aircraft has close to $5 million of Hexcel advanced composites on board. That is something to be proud of,” said Pierre-Laurent Mace, Vice President-Airbus Americas Procurement, to employees at the Hexcel facility.

As carbon fiber and composites production has grown at the plant, so has employment. Since the first A350 was delivered in December 2014, Hexcel Salt Lake City employment has grown to about 1,200 people, largely fueled by the A350 program growth.

Nick Stanage, Hexcel Chairman, President and CEO said, “Our partnership with Airbus is one of our most valued customer relationships, and the A350 contract was the largest in our history. Thanks to Airbus’ confidence in our people, products and processes, we have clearly proven that our advanced composites are the way of the future in next-generation commercial aircraft programs.”

About Airbus

Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2016 it generated revenues of €67 billion and employed a workforce of around 134,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats and business aviation products. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world’s leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.

About Hexcel

Hexcel is a leading advanced composites company. It develops, manufactures and markets lightweight, high-performance structural materials including carbon fibers, specialty reinforcements, prepregs and other fiber-reinforced matrix materials, honeycomb, adhesives, engineered core and composite structures for use in commercial aerospace, space and defense and industrial applications.

About National Composites Week

A group of composites industry leaders launched the inaugural National Composites Week from Aug. 26-30, 2019. The goal of National Composites Week is to encourage manufacturers from throughout the composites manufacturing supply chain — raw material suppliers, convertors, designers, toolmakers, fabricators, educators, students — to celebrate and bring attention to the myriad ways that composite materials and composites manufacturing contributes to the products and structures that shape the American manufacturing landscape today. National Composites Week was organized and launched by braiding specialist A&P Technology, carbon fiber manufacturer Hexcel and media partner CompositesWorld magazine. www.NationalCompositesWeek.com.

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