July 25, 2024

Talking with Beat Burlet, CEO of Bucher

Beat Burlet, CEO of Bucher, answers questions asked by Onboard Hospitality‘s Stuart Forster at the 2024 Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany.

Stuart Forster (SF): How is the 2024 AIX for you?

Beat Burlet (BB): We’re very busy. Lots of current customers and potential new customers at our booth, which is exciting. Also, the communication with OEMs is important for us.

SF: What trends are you noticing this year?

BB: The main topic in the industry is capacity: so trying to fulfil the programmes that we have and potential programs that we acquire.

At the moment, for us, it’s not so much about new products but delivering on the portfolio that we have.

SF: Are there any bottlenecks or issues that you’ve got to battle with to do that?

BB: Absolutely. Ramping back up from the COVID crisis. We had to downsize quite a bit our workforce and floor space. Now we’re in the process of increasing our headcount again and that’s a significant challenge in our locations in Switzerland and Germany mainly. So that’s what we’re battling with.

SF: What are you most excited about for the future?

BB: The dynamic in the industry at the moment is very exciting. There’s lots of potential projects out there that we’re interested in acquiring.

SF: Are there specific projects that you want to talk about?

BB: At the booth, we have long-range galleys that we present: that’s our main business. We do various programmes on various platforms.

Then we also have a so-called miscellaneous monument, a special monument that we deliver on a single-aisle platform.

There’s quite a wide range of different needs in the market that we’re excited to be part of and design and build the monuments according to customer specifications.

SF: To what extent are you integrating sustainability into your business?

BB: Sustainability is becoming increasingly more important. At Bucher we look at our products and our processes and where we can optimise.

In terms of product, I think for us, it’s clear, the main driver for CO2 emissions is weight – weight on the aircraft. We’re trying to reduce that weight by using new materials in our products – lighter materials – and then also the reliability and then recyclability of products.

We want to make sure that the product has a long lifetime, is in service for an extended period of time, and, when it has to be recycled, that it can be recycled.

Those are the main focuses for our products and processes internally.

We signed an agreement last year, with the Swiss agency of economics, to reduce our CO2 emissions by 80% within 10 years.

That’s a very aggressive target, but we’re confident we can get there. We have measures in place that we’re going to work on the next couple of years. We’re going put new measures in place over the next four to five years.