On the record with Aircelle’s Philippe Couteaux
May 18, 2016
Early this year, Philippe Couteaux's appointment as Aircelle's Vice President for Strategy, and Vice President of Customer Support and Services was announced. After his first few months in these roles, Couteaux answered questions on his responsibilities and the vision for Aircelle's future.
Question: What is the scope of your positions with Aircelle?
Answer: I wear two "hats" – each position has separate and distinct responsibilities. On one hand, I oversee the company's strategic vision, reporting to Aircelle CEO Jean-Paul Alary. I'm in charge of elaborating Aircelle's strategic thinking and business planning, and making sure strategic decisions are properly implemented across the company's global operations.
I am also leading Aircelle's Customer Support and Services operation. This other responsibility will focus on driving growth in Aircelle's business through the development of a sustainable support and services offering, while also looking at expanding our network and maintenance & repair capabilities for the future. Increasing customer satisfaction, developing customer loyalty and knowledge of our products & services, are key objectives for Aircelle. Right now, we have a strong, knowledgeable and enthusiastic team – so I want to mature our processes to ensure support and services remain integral for Aircelle's business.
Question: You joined Aircelle from Safran's Turbomeca business unit. Based on your time so far at Aircelle, how would you describe the company?
Answer: I've seen a tremendous amount of motivation – that struck me right away. When you walk into any of our global facilities, the true passion our staff has for producing and supporting world-leading nacelle systems, as well as Aircelle's well-organized and coherent organization is immediately evident. With my outside prospective, it's encouraging to see this attitude. It also appears that the company has potential to grow its aftermarket activities, which are still at their early stages, and this gives me great confidence that Aircelle is ready for the future.
Question: Aircelle has overall responsibility for design and integration of the LEAP-1A engine nacelles for the Airbus A320neo (new engine option) program, which will have the fastest and largest ramp-up in commercial aviation history. From a strategic point-of-view, how will this shape the company's future?
Answer: I am highly confident that Aircelle is ready to meet this challenge, and that it will enable our growth. We recently handed over the first production nacelle systems for the A320neo's CFM International LEAP-1A engine, and continuing to deliver on our commitments to secure production rate 60 will set a strong foundation for the future. We also are actively preparing the entry into service of our products with launch customers this summer. The LEAP-1A nacelle will give us the base to expand our capabilities, products and services across all of our global operations.
This goes beyond our dedicated efforts at Aircelle. To achieve the serial production and aftermarket targets on this A320neo program, we are working in close collaboration with our key partner GE/MRAS, and with our global external supply chain. We also are developing ties in the MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) world to increase our coverage of customers worldwide. In addition to our own MRO network of facilities in France, the U.S., and the Middle-East (where AMES is located, the Dubai-based joint venture between Aircelle and Air France-KLM Engineering & Maintenance). I'm closely following how these relationships will set the stage for our company's future.