Consolidation of suppliers to the aircraft interiors industry has been rife in recent years, and as 2016 draws to a close, a further major acquisition has been announced: Chinese multinational aviation company, AVIC, has agreed to acquire Thompson Aero Seating (Thompson) for an as-yet undisclosed sum.
Thompson is a Northern Ireland-based aircraft seating manufacturer best known for its Vantage business class seat, which is flying with several airlines including Aer Lingus, Malaysian Airlines, SWISS, JetBlue, TAP Portugal and Air Canada. The company has also enjoyed commercial success with its Vantage XL model, and indeed its application on Qantas’ A330 fleet has won several awards.
According to Thompson officials, they welcome the backing of AVIC and becoming part of a broader offering of cabin Interior products. A Thompson spokesperson stated, “Being underpinned by a strong industrial backer in AVIC will serve to consolidate our continued growth in Northern Ireland. The company expects to expand its current capacity to fulfil its fast-growing order book.”
The acquisition was revealed during the official opening of AIM Altitude’s new 168,000 sq ft facility in Bournemouth, UK. At the event, Aircraft Interiors International asked industry analyst Ben Bettell, project director for aircraft interiors at Counterpoint his views on the deal and he stated that he anticipates further seating company acquisitions during 2017. Watch this space…