Can you tell us about the development of Iacobucci HF Aerospace since its establishment in 1972?

My father founded the company with the aim of improving the heavy steel meal and beverage trolleys used in the 1960s. He introduced a modular system for constructing trolleys, which is still used today. Lufthansa was our first customer, and we became a world leader in this product line over the next decade. When I took over as the sole shareholder in 2007, I brought in private equity minority ownership, resulting in a revenue growth from €1 million to €30 million in ten years. We are now an international company, with 99.8% of our business outside Italy, spread across 350 customers worldwide.

How has the company’s portfolio diversified over the years?

Since I joined the business in the early 1990s, we have introduced additional products, and each product line has multiple models. For example, in our espresso machine line, we manufacture 27 different models for various airplanes. Regular espresso machines had faced difficulties passing safety regulatory tests and fitting into the limited space available on aircraft, but we developed machines that met those requirements. We also developed coffee machines, trash compactors, and introduced our seats product line, closing a deal in 2010 with BMW Designworks for a new VIP seat. Today, our portfolio is split between commercial aviation (80%) and VIP aviation (20%), with the historical trolley units occupying only a small part of our business.

What are the advantages of operating in Italy for Iacobucci HF?

Manufacturing in Italy offers definite advantages, particularly when it comes to supplying VIP programs. VIP aviation customers demand tailor-made products of exceptional quality, and Italy has a strong tradition in both aeronautical engineering for the structure and design for aesthetic appeal. We source our upholstery, detailed components, and rich materials from small companies, and we customize our products to our customers’ requirements at the highest quality. The Italian brand is also highly regarded in the aviation industry, and customers are drawn to products designed and tailor-made in Italy. For example, we were selected to produce 52 first-class seats for the Four Season’s own jet, which provides a unique luxury experience for customers traveling between hotels.

How is Iacobucci HF adapting to the changing industry environment?

The market is challenging, with large airlines requiring suppliers like us to develop brand new equipment with higher performance, lower weight, and cost. While aircraft manufacturers demand more, they prefer to deal with fewer providers capable of supplying a broader range of products. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep diversifying. We must continue to invest in research and development to anticipate market trends. Our goal is to keep investing in our cabin product lines, offering more products, inserts, and seats. Being a one-product company is no longer feasible, and we will focus on broadening our scope from VIP cabins to prime cabins.

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