Laura Mertens on Private Aviation at the MAKS Air Show 2017
Over the past 25 years, Russian air show MAKS has become one of the most influential events in private aviation; a center for the exhibition and sale of modern aircraft technology, attended by companies across the world. One such company is Thales Group, a multinational, technologically-focused manufacturer of electrical systems which provides services for multiple sectors.
As a global ranking top 500 company, Thales Group has created avionics for multiple aircraft manufacturers through their Aerospace division. The company, founded in France in 2000, employs over 64,000 people across six continents. Air Charter Service sat down with Marketing Manager Laura Mertens to discuss Thales, MAKS and the future of the aviation industry.
Why is MAKS so important for the global aviation industry?
“This kind of exhibition - in Russia, France or Britain - helps businesses and organisations exchange experiences and establish contacts between various projects in the industry.”
How useful was MAKS for Thales?
“Great, we had a lot of useful meetings. It would be fantastic, of course, if these meetings could be more productive; we noticed that many exhibitors had to hurry to catch the large number of companies with whom they wanted to hold meetings.”
What did you like at MAKS?
“I really liked Iran's booth - I was interested in their Qased Smart Bomb, a long-range guided missile which weighs more than one ton. I was also very impressed by the Russian fighter jet MiG-35, which attracted a lot of attention.”
Is there a future for private aviation in today’s difficult economic climate?
“There are always opportunities. I think those who have been regular customers of the company will stay with us, and those who fly on private planes will continue do so anyway, no matter what.”