17 June 2020

At Aquitaine Electronique, a smooth recovery…and some question marks

Even if well prepared in advance, the return to activity in this Serres-Castet company does not exempt it from the many questions surrounding the future of subcontracting in aeronautics.

At Aquitaine Electronique, a first-order aeronautical subcontractor based in Serres-Castet, the matter was handled gently. The end of the containment, on Monday morning, was therefore not suffered when some forty employees came to get back to work. After the introduction of teleworking for half of the workforce in mid-March, “there was then a partial resumption of production at the beginning of April, on a voluntary basis, while of course respecting the barrier measures”, explains Caroline Mureau, Head of Human Resources. The adaptation has so far “been done gently, in stages”, with the aim of returning to the initial situation by the beginning of June.« That people feel good » Reflex sheets, validated by everyone, for people to feel good”, says the boss, Christian Houel, anxious “to create automatisms” and to show “that it is possible to work again”. The imperative is all the more vital that, in his view, “there is nothing ad hoc about this”.

As a result, and in the absence of any orders “for two months”, his concern is not feigned. And the question marks over the future are “numerous”, even if, in his opinion, “the State has done a good job in adopting measures that are both unprecedented and exceptional”. But, from now on, “it’s up to us to adapt, and without giving up… because, in any case, we don’t have the means! “says Christian Houel. Concrete example: “We will slow down some things, but certainly not research and development, because there too we have no choice”. On its own scale, Aquitaine Electronique has created a consequent design office, where no less than fifty people work. On Monday, they were all still teleworking.

« “At least one year” » low

In the longer term, this economic operator, whose customer base is fortunately diversified, but who does not rule out a drop of around 10% in his annual turnover, expects to “face a dip of at least one year”, or even 18 months for this sector within which relations with the largest principals will become strained. It is no secret that orders from the ailing Airbus could fall by 30%.
“Studies are stopped, investments frozen, it’s going to be hard for everyone”. sighs Christian Houel.

Sources : La République des Pyrénées

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