The new engineering centre of Airbus in Russia, ECAR, which has been created jointly with the Kaskol Group was officially opened today in Moscow in the presence of Russian Deputy Prime Minister Boris Aleshin. This is Airbus' first engineering facility in Europe outside its home countries. The ceremony, hosted by Airbus Chief Operating Officer Gustav Humbert and Kaskol Group President Sergei Nedoroslev, was also attended by representatives of the Russian Aerospace Agency Rosaviakosmos and the Russian aviation industry as well as numerous guests.

On the occasion of the opening, Mr Humbert said: "We are delighted that hardly a year after Airbus selected Kaskol as its leading industrial partner in Russia in May 2002, we are now celebrating the opening of ECAR. This is a further major milestone in the long-standing relationship Airbus and its major shareholder EADS have with the Russian aviation sector, which was given a great impetus by the strategic partnership signed in July 2002 between Rosaviakosmos and EADS." "Despite the existing downturn in the world airline industry, Airbus has decided to remain fully committed to the ECAR project which, we are convinced, will set the standards for any future close partnership between our respective sides of Europe. An amazing amount of work has been accomplished in a record time by our respective teams in a mutual spirit of professionalism, genuine trust and a remarkable will to progress, which heralds a bright future for ECAR."

The primary function of ECAR is to promote cross-transfer of expertise, as well as to co-ordinate and enlarge the scope of activities which Airbus is developing with Russian aerospace companies. ECAR is set to work to the most modern Airbus technologies and standards, participating in both existing and future programmes. It will specialise to start with in disciplines such as fuselage structure, stress and installation system . In addition, ECAR will coordinate and facilitate Airbus work packages amongst Russian aircraft design centers, and will also pass on its design works for the production of Airbus aircraft components in Russia.

"The Russian engineering school, its professional traditions and more than half a century of experience in civil aircraft design and building, together with Airbus' "know-how," and leading scientific and industrial base, will become a foundation for further effective development of European aerospace industry. For us the creation of ECAR means a real positioning and integration in the global high technologies market," said Sergei Nedoroslev

Located in downtown Moscow, ECAR's brand-new facility currently covers 1,000 m2, and will nearly double by end-2004 to accommodate 100 engineers. ECAR offers an open and collaborative environment, equipped with the most modern communication equipment that is linked, in real time, with Airbus engineering in France and Germany. Currently, some 30 Russian design engineers are employed at the facility, in addition to administrative staff. All of them have already been trained in Airbus engineering standards and processes in Toulouse and Hamburg, where their technical and social competences were very much appreciated.

ECAR will be registered as a company jointly owned by Airbus and Kaskol. Vladimir Raschupkin has been appointed General Director of ECAR.

A leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive product line on the market, and the world’s largest backlog in the above 100-seater category, Airbus is a global company with design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK, and Spain, as well as subsidiaries in the U.S., China and Japan. In Moscow, it has also a regional office as well as technical representation providing on-the-spot airline support. Headquartered in Toulouse (France), Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE SYSTEMS.

Based in Moscow, Kaskol is one of the largest privately owned group that focuses on aircraft and aircraft components design and manufacturing, high-tech engineering and information technology. Founded in 1988, Kaskol has gradually grown into a company with culture that embraces new technology, fast-paced growth, constant change and devotion to customers and partners.