Jacobo Mesta
CEO
Soisa Aircraft Interiors
/
View from the Top

Soisa’s Newly Appointed CEO Looks Ahead

By Antonio Gozain | Mon, 02/14/2022 - 12:00

Q: How do Soisa Aircraft Interiors’ integrated processes, from manufacturing to certification, add value for clients?

A: Soisa started in 2006 with seven people cutting and sewing canopies for aircraft. To add value, we knew we needed a complete supply chain, a One Stop Shop, so we expanded from design to engineering, prototyping and certification. and manufacturing of other parts. We then took over integration by building the cushion and dressing it before delivering .

We have numerous contacts and relationships within the aerospace cluster in Chihuahua, which has allowed us to streamline our manufacturing by facilitating sourcing of raw materials and processes we do not do in-house, such as machining or painting. With their support, we now deliver final products to our clients. We are now a one-stop shop for aircraft interiors.

Q: What is the company’s key differentiator from its competitors?

A: Our advantages are our manufacturing capacity, human capital and our lamination process. The latter is well known practically worldwide and recognized by international airlines, including Emirates, Etihad, AA, China Eastern Airlines and United, among others. Our facility is also an ideal location from which to target both the US and Latin American markets.

In-house laboratory and engineering have helped us provide better services by obtaining better and more information and testing of our final product, greatly reducing development times and growing our services and capabilities.

Q: How has the Mexican aerospace industry grown in the last few years and what role does Chihuahua play in the global picture?

A: While we have not seen many new companies coming to Mexico, existing businesses are expanding. The aerospace industry and other industries, faced several problems during the pandemic because we did not receive support from the Mexican government, unlike businesses in other countries, which led the local industry to struggle and lose of competitive advantage against our competitors.

In 2018 we won the award for Innovation with Recaro seating with our project “Glowing Experience”, which was adding led light to the seats for different reasons. We started working on a project with Singapore Airlines for a first-class seat but the pandemic paused that project and it may be a long time till it comes back online. Investment has dried up and the few remaining investors are only buying the least expensive aircraft. The industry is not innovating.

Q: What are the main supply chain challenges in the aviation industry and how has Soisa Aircraft Interiors developed its own local value chain?

A: Global supply chains have been hit hard. For some companies, sales have decreased to 50 percent or less. Many lines of credit have been canceled. As a result, many companies are asking their clients for advanced payments when selling materials. The cash flow is limited, costs have skyrocketed and most clients do not want to accept prices increases. Procuring materials from around the world is now much more expensive.

To address this, we have been trying to convince airlines and OEMs to use more local or regional products, which would reduce costs and lead times. For example, we are developing leather manufacturing using raw materials from Monterrey instead of from foreign suppliers, reducing delivery times from weeks to hours. The only matter is convincing the airline.

Q: How has sustainability impacted both your products and processes and what is your contribution to decreasing overall aircraft weight and increasing fuel efficiency?

A: We adopted lamination in 2018, an innovative process now used by the most prestigious airlines in the world. Using this technique, we can eliminate the back cushion and reduce the seat’s weight by 40 percent, increasing fuel efficiency and reducing maintenance costs.

Q: What are the main goals for your first year as Soisa’s CEO?

A: At this moment, our goal is to recover the sales numbers we saw in 2019, at the very least. We also plan to retain our human capital and then to continue expanding worldwide. We aim to improve our performance while maintaining 100 percent quality and on-time delivery. And finally, be the preferred supplier in aircraft interiors and the one that supports our clients and business partners to achieve their goals.

 

Soisa Aircraft Interiors is a leading international supplier of aircraft interior products that specializes in design, engineering, product development, manufacturing and certification of seat covers, cushion, foam inserts, carpets, diaphragms for seat bottoms and armrests.

Antonio Gozain Antonio Gozain Journalist and Industry Analyst