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Aerospace Resource Guide: Switzerland

 

Switzerland Statistics

Summary
Market Entry

Current Market Trends

Current Demand

Main Competitors

Subsector Focus: Helicopters
Barriers

Trade Events/Associations

CS Contact

Capital: Bern
Population:
8.0 million
GDP USD
: USD 645.6 billion
Currency:
Swiss francs
Language
: German, French, Italian, Romantsch

Summary

The total Swiss market demand for civilian aircraft and parts, including components and avionics, was valued at US$ 1.402 billion in 2013 and is expected to register growth of 2-4% in 2014. U.S. exporters, OMS and business providers garnered a market share of 31% of the overall import market in 2013.

Market Entry


Having one of the most liberal and competitive economies in the world, Switzerland is a highly sophisticated, technologically advanced, quality-conscious, and competitive market and operates under the precept of free enterprise and freedom of trade and commerce. The 1972 Free Trade Agreement between Switzerland and the European Community eliminated customs duties and other trade restrictions for industrial products. The majority of U.S. shipments of goods to Switzerland are assessed a customs duty, which is tied to weight rather than value. Moreover, aerospace technology is subject to the Value-Added-Tax (VAT), which at present is assessed at 8%.

Current Market Trends


The Swiss aviation market is characterized by a host of world-renowned suppliers of aircraft, parts and components. Major end-users include aircraft operators, encompassing the country’s national flagship carrier SWISS (part of the Lufthansa group), operators of regional and business jets, operators of air taxi services, operators of charter/executive fights, a growing number privately held aircraft, as well as Switzerland’s sole aircraft manufacture Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. and RUAG Aviation, a leading supplier, support provider and integrator of systems and components for the civil and military industry. Swiss imports of U.S.-built aircraft, parts, components as well as avionics were valued at US $697 million in 2013. Many Swiss aerospace companies are end-users of parts and components from an array of U.S. suppliers, some of which have solidified their presence in the market over the past few years. U.S. suppliers should plan to establish long-term relationships with their Swiss partners. U.S. exporters should be prepared to meet Swiss customers’ needs. Swiss buyers/end-users are discriminating when evaluating new product offerings and place high emphasis upon excellent quality and sophistication of the hardware and services.

Current Demand


The national flagship carrier SWISS is devoid of U.S.-made aircraft in its present fleet. The decision made several years ago to procure Airbus aircraft for the short and long haul market segments dealt a blow to the U.S. aircraft manufacturers. Nonetheless, U.S. parts, components and avionics and equipment are in strong demand from the country’s sole aircraft manufacturer, overhaul, repair and maintenance companies (MROs), and business jet operators. Although difficult to predict due to the aviation industry’s volatile nature, industry sources estimate that the Swiss civil aviation market is expected to grow between 2-4% in 2014, which is in line with the upturn in air travel.

Competitors


U.S. suppliers, which garnered a 31% market share in 2013, will benefit from a higher demand in the months to come as the aviation industry is forecast to improve. While the preponderance of local production output is earmarked for exports, Swiss suppliers contribute approximately 4% to the total market demand. Although small in size, Switzerland prides itself in having its own aircraft manufacturing industry. Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. is the country’s only aircraft manufacturer.

Subsector Focus: Helicopters


Switzerland has a limited number of operators of helicopters used for civilian missions. Over 320 helicopters are registered in Switzerland for scenic, VIP and taxi and emergency flights as well as cargo transport missions.

Rega, which provides services to people in distress in Switzerland and abroad, operates 17 rescue helicopters and 3 ambulance jets. The helicopter fleet comprises 6 Eurocopter EC 145 machine and 11 AugustaWestland Da Vinci helicopters.

Switzerland’s sole helicopter manufacturer, Marenco Swisshelicopter Ltd., was founded in 2007 for the purpose of developing, producing and commercializing a new concept of light turbine helicopter. The SKYe SH09 is a low-cost, light utility helicopter. The company is seeking to capitalize on the growing light helicopter market and has thus far recorded orders for 48 units.

Barriers


Switzerland’s open and transparent market environment, affluence, central location in the heart of Europe, sound economy, and highly developed industrial base represent vital ingredients for U.S. exporters.

For any type of aircraft earmarked for importation into Switzerland, the Federal Office for Civil Aviation (FOCA) requires an Export Certificate of Airworthiness, issued by the last registry country. More information may be found under http://www.aviation.admin.ch/.

Prior to exporting goods, U.S. suppliers are advised to contact the following governmental organizations in Washington, D.C. to determine which export license regime applies with regard to exporting aircraft parts, components and avionics to Switzerland:

Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC):
http://www.pmddtc.state.gov/

Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS):
http://www.bis.doc.gov/


Trade Events/Associations

2014 European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE2014)

May 20-22, 2014 | Geneva, Switzerland
http://ebace.aero/2014/


2013 European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE2015)

May 19-21, 2015 | Geneva, Switzerland
http://www.ebace.aero/2015/

EBACE is a premier marketing event for business aviation in Europe. Since its inception, EBACE has been held at Geneva PALEXPO, situated adjacent to the Geneva International Airport.

U.S. Commercial Service Contact Information:


Mr. Sandor Galambos
Commercial Specialist, U.S. Department of State
galamboss@state.gov
+41 31 357 7237


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