General Atomics Europe will take over all business activities related to maintenance work for private and military aircraft, as well as the manufacture and maintenance of the Dornier 228 aircraft. General Atomics Europe will take over all 450 employees. The takeover is still subject to approval by the responsible authorities. The transfer of ownership (contractual closing) is expected to be completed this year. The parties have agreed not to disclose the contractual terms.
Felix Ammann, Managing Director of RUAG Aerospace Services GmbH, says: “We are pleased to have found an experienced industrial partner in General Atomics Europe who has the best prerequisites to successfully continue business activities at Oberpfaffenhofen special airport. Leading the location with its 450 employees into a secure future is RUAG International’s the top priority.”
Location safeguarding and technological expertise for Bavaria
Harald Robl, Managing Director of General Atomics Europe, adds: “We are aware of the challenges that a takeover of this magnitude means, especially in the aviation sector amid the current coronavirus crisis. However, General Atomics Europe is economically robust. In addition, we have developed a future concept that creates a classic win-win situation for GA-Europe and the future new location in Oberpfaffenhofen. We are convinced of the great potential of this company and its employees and want to develop Oberpfaffenhofen into the European aviation core of the General Atomics Europe Group. At the same time, we would like to thank the Bavarian State Government, in particular State Secretary Roland Weigert from the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, who has positively accompanied and supported the process.”
Successfully separated and unbundled
The agreement with General Atomics Europe is another important step for RUAG International on its way to realignment. The sale of parts of the company is taking place in accordance with the unbundling concept approved by the Swiss Federal Council on 15 March 2019. The business activities affected by the sale were all brought together in the MRO International division, whose parts of the company are all to be divested in the future. The two locations specialising in business jets at Geneva-Cointrin and Lugano-Agno airports were sold in July 2019. The purchaser of the two locations was the French aerospace company Dassault Aviation.
At the Oberpfaffenhofen location, RUAG International continues to employ 800 people for aircraft structure construction (RUAG Aerostructures) – this company segment is not affected by the sale.
With respect to the Do228
In 2002, RUAG International took over the two divisions Services and Components (Airbus component construction and maintenance divisions) from the then German aircraft manufacturer Fairchild Dornier. This also included all rights for the production of the Do228. In 2007, further development of the Do228 NG (new generation) began. Around 130 Do228 aircraft are in operation worldwide. The Dornier 228 is characterised by its large range, high utilisation rates and payloads with comparatively low operating costs, as well as its robustness.