| Collins Aerospace (UTC) took advantage of the 53rd Paris Air Show at Le Bourget to announce over 1.5 billion dollars' worth of contracts for its aftermarket activities. The Paris air show was the major event the company had attended since the merger of UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS) and Rockwell Collins last November. For example, Collins Aerospace signed several FlightSense contracts with airlines for 787 and A320 nacelles, spread over 25 years and valued at over 900 million dollars. Collins Aerospace also signed its first licence contract in Africa with Ethiopian Airlines, a contract which is estimated at 500 million dollars. We met with Ajay Agrawal, President, Aftermarket Services at Collins Aerospace to look in more detail at what was announced at the show.
This year's Paris Air Show turned out to be very good for your activities?
Yes, we are extremely excited with it. We announced 2.5 billion dollars in new contracts since we combined our activities 6 months ago, for three main reasons. The first is that since we came together with Rockwell Collins, the number one priority has been to focus on customers, and this success speaks for itself. The second reason is that our service offering is very effective and brings the right value propositions to the customer base. Our FlightSense programme, including FlightSense Repair (Pay as you go), FlighSense Predictable (repair dollar per hour service) and FlightSense Available (asset management dollar per hour offering with guaranteed asset availability), we can go exactly where the customer wants. Finally, in addition to these packages, many customers also want "mods & upgrades"; they want "surplus", they want predictive maintenance solutions. We can package all of these offers according to the customer's needs, and this is why we are seeing that response from the market.
What about these first steps in Africa with Ethiopian?
Yes, Africa is a very strategic region. It's not a huge market today but it will be growing faster than the worldwide market for a long time to come and we are very happy with this new partnership with Ethiopian Airlines. It is a strategic partner in a strategic region and this is a great start for a very long partnership.
Ethiopian Airlines is an extremely well-managed airline which has a real vision for growth. This 25-year partnership will enable the airline to repair different types of Q400 equipment, such as heat exchangers, air managements systems and fuel metering units. Ethiopian currently operates with 23 Q400s, but there are many more flying in Africa and the airline will take charge of their repairs. It is a contract which covers the whole continent.
I should also add that we have a very extensive network of repair centers with 78 repair shops and 35 distribution centres. This type of agreement enables us to go further in how we reach and serve our customers.
While we are now talking about a new merger with Raytheon, have you identified any new synergies between UTAS and Rockwell Collins activities?
I must say that the integration between Rockwell Collins and UTAS is going extremely well. In terms of cost synergies, we have just increased our objectives. But the most important thing is that we are identifying new opportunities by taking advantage of the capabilities we have inherited from both activities to provide new value to the customers that we couldn't do before. We now have a hundred initiatives which will add more than a billion dollars of additional revenue over the next five years. It's a real win-win situation as it adds new value to the customer base and provides us with new opportunities.