Gillis Aerospace in Toulouse, headed up by Serge Dumas, employs 45 experts, who manufacture high precision metal fasteners and bolts.
Three months ago, Serge was struggling to keep up with the required supply of parts, but now he is wondering how to keep his employees busy, as orders have plummeted due to the coronavirus crisis.
“In February, we were in the midst of euphoria and operating a just-in-time schedule,” Dumas told Reuters. “In a few days, we went from accelerating flat-out to slamming on the brakes. We were flabbergasted.”
Gillis Aerospace is one of many local small business, and their success relies on a very small number of customers.
“When Airbus coughs, everyone gets sick”
In Occitanie, 400,000 aerospace jobs are at risk, and half of those involve Airbus in Toulouse.
“Right now, aerospace sub-contracting represents 86,000 jobs in Occitanie and Airbus buys 5-billion-euros of parts locally,” said Alain Di Crescenzo, president of Occitanie’s Industrial Chamber of Commerce (CCI). “When Airbus coughs, everyone gets sick,” he said.