Canadian aerospace industry posts increased revenues for the 4th consecutive year, yet long-term challenges remain

    OTTAWA, Aug. 13 /CNW Telbec/ - The Aerospace Industries Association of
Canada (AIAC) today released performance results for Canada's aerospace
industry in 2007:

    - Revenues increased slightly from $22.1 billion in 2006 to $22.7 billion
      in 2007.
    - Aircraft, aircraft parts and components remained the largest segment of
      revenues totaling $12.5 billion (55% of overall revenues).
    - Direct industry employment in 2007 was 82,000, up from 79,000 in 2006.
    - Export sales in 2007 generated $18.6 billion (82% of total industry
      revenue) while domestic sales totaled $4.1 billion.
    - Despite a slight decrease, the United States remained the most
      important market for Canadian aerospace goods and services, accounting
      for sales of $12.6 billion in 2007 (68% of total sales). European
      customers generated increased sales totaling $4.1 billion (22% of total
      sales) compared to 20% the previous year. Canada continues to focus on
      expanding opportunities in the fast growing Asian and Eastern European
      markets where Canada's market share has shown promising growth over the
      past years.
    - Sales to defence customers increased to 22% ($5.0 billion) of total
      sales in 2007, up from 18% in 2006.
    - Expenditures on aerospace research and development remained stable at
      $1.2 billion (75% of total investment) in 2007.

    "Canada's continuing strong performance in global aerospace markets shows
that the innovative, cost-effective and proven technologies and services
Canadian aerospace companies develop are in demand," says Lajeunesse. "This
success is not only good for our industry, but for communities across Canada
where our companies operate".
    Despite Canada's strong performance, serious long-term challenges are
confronting the industry. For example, while the rising cost of jet fuel is
having a negative impact on many airlines and their profitability. The upside,
however, is this is presenting new opportunities for Canadian companies
developing more fuel efficient products.
    A second challenge is research and development. Building on the capacity
of Canadian firms to increase R&D expenditures in strategic technologies is
critical for the Canadian aerospace industry to position itself on future
major platforms. "R&D is the key to creating new leading-edge aerospace
products and services, and keeping us globally competitive," Dr. Lajeunesse.
    Human resources are the industry's third challenge. There is a tremendous
need for highly skilled workforce in the Canadian aerospace industry, at a
time when baby boomers are facing retirement. "AIAC is reaching out to
universities and colleges to help promote the exciting and well-paying
opportunities for graduates coming into aerospace," says Dr. Lajeunesse.

    AIAC is the national trade association of Canada's aerospace
manufacturing and service sector - the fourth largest aerospace industry in
the world. The Association represents the interests of 400 companies, in all
regions of the country.

For further information:

For further information: Maryse Harvey, Vice-President Public Affairs,
Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, (613) 232-4297,

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