Companies thrilled with Aircraft Interiors show experience

Three separate procurement teams meeting with Washington suppliers.

Three separate procurement teams meeting with Washington suppliers.

“Very happy.” “Productive.” “Great value.” These are just a few snippets of the glowing reviews from all of the companies participating in the Commerce-led trip to Aircraft Interiors Expo 2017 in Hamburg, Germany this week.

Assisted by our amazing team of European representatives from the UK-based TFDI, our delegation logged dozens of one-on-one and group procurement meetings as well as several exclusive opportunities and VIP visits during the four-day mission.

“Good job by the Washington State Department of Commerce (through TFDI) in arranging meetings with the right people (at companies), providing a win-win-win for the state and companies,” said Windspeed president and CEO Shakil Hussain.

Orion executives Sean Dwyer and Richard Moe said they would never have been able to meet with a senior vice president of a major tier-one supplier had we not made the trip to AIX.

Prior to opening day at AIX, most of the group visited Airbus’ main facility in Hamburg for a half-day of meetings. It was quite impressive to be greeted with a welcome message on the highway reader board. Additional meetings took place later at the show, where the Airbus procurement manager for flying components came with requests for quotes in hand.
Airbus main facitlity in Hamburg, Germany

In this our third year exhibiting at AIX, the Washington state delegation shared space with fellow members of Hanse-Aerospace, Germany’s largest association of aviation and space industry companies. Washington state is the only U.S. state member of the organization – a reflection of our global reputation as a leading aerospace manufacturing hub.

From this central spot at the show we hosted a “sold-out” slate of business prospect and VIP meetings during the event. We were also honored with an invitation to the Hamburg Senate Aircraft Interiors show reception at Lufthansa Technik’s main maintenance, repair and operations center in Hamburg.  It was a phenomenal opportunity for our companies to network with all of the leading aircraft interiors companies from Germany and other European Union countries.

More highlights of the trip included:

  • Tool Gauge, Inc. announcement of their big expansion in Tacoma, creating 50-100 news jobs over the next five years.
  • Invitations to the exclusive Crystal Cabin Awards ceremony attended by some 250 industry executives. The seven Crystal Cabin award categories represent one of the highest international honors for companies that specialize in technology and products for aircraft cabins.
  • One company furthered discussions begun at AIX 2016 and reports they are now on the cusp of a major new three to five-year contract.
  • Another member of our delegation closed out the last day of the show by earning a nondisclosure agreement and request for drawings from a major aircraft seating company. The contact was generated by someone who had attended a group procurement meeting earlier in the day. Recognizing our Washington supplier as they passed by that afternoon, the representative pulled a colleague in to speak with them.
  • From start to finish, this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo was positive for our companies. They have plenty of follow-up work on the books and want to return again next year to keep the success going.


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