Can you describe Geven’s evolution in the seat manufacturing segment?

Geven began producing seats for the marine and railway industries in 1984, but our main goal was always to enter the aviation industry, which is very challenging. Initially, we focused on simple products and retrofit programs. However, once we gained experience, Airbus trusted us and allowed us to enter their A320 catalogue with the Piuma model, a fixed backrest economy class seat. Because of our performance in terms of on-time delivery and quality, we were also allowed to enter their A330 and A380 catalogue, offering more complex products like Premium Economy and Business Class with full IFE. Currently, we are entering the A350 catalogue, which was our final target with Airbus.

What are Geven’s growth targets?

We invested in a new 40,000 square meter manufacturing plant in 2005, which is much larger than our previous location in San Sebastiano. In 2014, we acquired two additional buildings that provide 40,000 more square meters. We are planning to open a fourth plant of 50,000 square meters in the coming years. In 2009, we were awarded a contract with ATR to supply Economy and Premium Economy seats for the ATR 42 and 72 aircraft. As of today, we have delivered more than 460 ship-sets. Although the contract was on a non-exclusive basis, so far 100% of airlines have selected Geven seats for their aircraft. Currently, we are developing the new generation of seats that will replace the previous ones by 2018. Regarding Boeing, we are confident that we will supply seats for linefit installation on new Boeing aircraft soon.

Geven has created a new company called SkyTecno. What is the objective of this?

SkyTecno is a mechanical company that works exclusively for Geven. Today, 80% of our manufacturing needs are covered in-house, while we outsource the remaining 20%. This allows us to be more competitive in terms of cost and flexibility. Geven’s quality also improved significantly thanks to the machines that were created for our specific needs. Today, we have a 0% scrap rate for the parts that come from SkyTecno.

With thousands of new planes needed in Asia in the future, does Geven have a strategy for the continent?

Geven supplies more than 250 airlines worldwide, and we are currently working to increase our presence in Asia and the U.S. In Asia, we have agents and are opening a new distribution center in Singapore to accelerate delivery times for spare parts and offer better support. Singapore is a strategic location, and we have a good partner there. In the U.S., we have a distribution center in California that serves our customers in South America, and we are planning to open two commercial offices in Seattle and Miami to increase our sales in North America.

What is the outlook for Geven in the medium term?

Our core business is the Economy Class, and we focus on airlines’ demands, specifically in minimizing weight and increasing comfort. Our new product, Essenza, for single aisle application, allows for installation at a pitch of 27 inches, while the pitch is typically around 29 to 30 inches in high-density configurations. This product already has a launch customer that signed a long-term contract worth $75 million. For the twin aisle market, we are completing the development of another product named Elemento that will guarantee low weight and excellent levels of comfort for long-range platforms. The next step will be the development of a new Business Class for long-range applications.

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