With extensive operations in the Mexican aerospace market, Safran is a leading partner for the country's airlines. The CFM56? engine, developed and produced by CFM International, the 50/50 joint company between Safran Aircraft Engines and GE, powers more than 120 single-aisle commercial jets for Aeromexico and Interjet. The LEAP? engine – the successor to the CFM56 – has already been chosen to power Aeromexico's 90-strong fleet of Boeing 737 MAX airliners and the 40 Airbus A320neo airliners ordered by Interjet. Safran also operates in the regional aviation market, as supplier of the SaM146 engine (through PowerJet, a 50/50 joint company between Safran Aircraft Engines and UEC Saturn) and nacelles for the fleet of 30 Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ100) regional jets ordered by Interjet.
The Group has two production plants in Querétaro, both Safran centers of excellence: one makes critical parts for the CFM56 and SaM146 engines and the other specializes in landing gear components for Airbus and Boeing airplanes. In addition, Safran operates the largest aircraft wiring plant in the world, in Chihuahua. When it was inaugurated in 1996, the plant was the first aerospace manufacturing plant in Mexico. Today, it comprises four production units and a wiring system design and engineering center. The site designs and produces 95% of the wiring used on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and produces 75% of the wiring on the Airbus A380, the world's biggest jetliner.
To meet the needs of airlines across the American continent, Safran operates three maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) centers in Querétaro. These state-of-the-art facilities provide a complete range of support services for aircraft engines, landing gear and hydraulic systems.
Safran also provides support services for a fleet of nearly 600 helicopter turbine engines in 15 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Key contributor to training and education
Safran is an active partner to educational institutions in Mexico, notably through the Mexprotec program for bilateral cooperation between universities, which allows skilled Mexican technicians to obtain a vocational degree at an Institute of technology (IUT) in France. The program includes a four-month internship at a Safran company. As part of its active commitment to another major initiative, the Franco-Mexican Aerospace Campus set up by the National Aeronautics University of Querétaro (UNAQ), Safran donated a CFM56-3 engine and two landing gear systems for hands-on training. In addition, the Group regularly welcomes interns to its Mexican plants, contributes to vocational training programs, and is a partner to the Independent National University of Mexico (UNAM) and the Querétaro University of Technology (UTEQ). Furthermore, Safran helped set up specialized work-study training programs in conjunction with the Franco-Mexican high school (Lycée franco-mexicain) in Mexico City, which enable students to obtain a vocational degree from the University of Créteil in France. Safran also operates a training center for helicopter engine technicians at Mexico City International Airport.
Keenly aware of the country's potential, Safran is committed to fostering collaborative research and innovation opportunities in Mexico. In April 2014, the Group signed a letter of intent with Mexico's National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) to develop joint R&D projects. Safran also signed an agreement with the Center for Research and Advanced Studies (CINVESTAV) of the National Polytechnic Institute. In addition, Safran is a founding member of the Queretaro Aerocluster (ACQ), which it currently chairs, geared to developing research and education initiatives.