Recaro Aircraft Seating (Recaro) has released its 2020 financial reports. As would be expected, the company’s activities have been impacted by the travel restrictions imposed around the world in an effort to control the Covid-19 pandemic. With vaccination programmes helping enable the recovery of the commercial aviation industry, Recaro has revealed its new long-term strategy, with a focus on customers and its global team members.
“We remain dedicated as we continue to expand our global footprint, working on new innovations and motivating our key capital – our employees – with our internal culture code of ‘We Are Recaro,’” said Dr Mark Hiller, CEO of Recaro Aircraft Seating. “I am confident and optimistic that we will emerge stronger than ever from the current situation and continue driving comfort in the sky.”
Recaro has steadily reported double-digit growth rates over the past 10 years, but for 2020 it earned revenues of €295 million: 60% less than in 2019. The shortfall has had an effect on staffing, but with that focus on employees, Recaro has strived to minimise the effect. Although employee headcount at certain production sites was reduced by up to 30%, Recaro was able to reach a significant deal with its employees at its Schwaebisch Hall headquarters to secure their employment through mid-2023. Recaro now employs 2,100 team members across its five sites around the world.
At the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, Recaro’s leadership team responded swiftly by making appropriate adjustments to support the company’s internal and external goals for long-term success. Various measures were implemented under the company’s global efficiency programme, named ‘Touch & Go’, which reduced costs by 18% across all sites and 150 projects were introduced to support efficiency. The management teams contributed extra savings through salary cuts, and the implementation of “short-time work” at the Schwaebisch Hall site also helped save resources.
There were success stories for Recaro’s normal business in 2020, with its lightest economy class seat model, the SL3710, taking flight for the first time on TAP Air Portugal and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. Recaro also reports that it enjoyed positive feedback from its external customer survey and internal employee survey, and earned an award from Airbus for its in-service support.
2021 is already shaping up to be a busy year for Recaro, with the family-owned business entering the regional jet market for the first time and announcing KLM Cityhopper as its first regional jet customer, with the airline using a novel ‘hybrid’ layout. The company has also been working through its order for 96,000 SL3710 seats (459 shipsets) under the Indigo Partners award, the largest award in Recaro history. Indigo Partners’ airline brands include Wizz Air, Volaris, Frontier and JetSmart.
Recaro is also driving forward with its ‘space2grow’ facility expansion projects, with construction at its headquarters reported to be on track. The customer service area, crash facility and flam lab are slated to open in autumn 2021.