5 questions for Olivier Andriès, CEO of Safran Group

Portraits - Pioneers from the aerospace industry and political decision-makers give personal insights and provide their assessment of current industry trends.

1    Do you have a special memory at ILA Berlin and what are your personal expectations for #ILA22? 

My strongest memory is my visit in 2018 when ILA Berlin was the place to be!  Invited by our partner MTU we met with the French and German Ministers of Defence (Florence Parly and Ursula Van der Leyen) and announced that we had reached an agreement for the development of the engine for the Next Generation Fighter Aircraft (within the SCAF program) on how the tasks would be shared between us according to the “Best Athlete Principle”. 
Four years later Safran will have its first stand at ILA Berlin, which is coming at a particularly important time for the aerospace and defence industries. It will again be “The place to be” as one of the first European trade shows for our industry to demonstrate our strength and our commitment to the political and social challenges Europe is facing today. 

2    For you personally, do you see a most important trend in aerospace at the very moment? 

After two years of the COVID pandemic the aviation industry has proved its resilience and is ramping up production again whilst at the same time accelerating its efforts for decarbonisation. More recently the crisis in the Ukraine has confirmed the need for a strong and united European defence industry.  Our industry is thus facing two major challenges – the need for decarbonisation of aviation in order to protect our fundamental freedom to travel, and the need for sovereignty both in defence and space as well as across the supply chain. Safran is at the forefront of these two goals, with major investment and a clear roadmap.

3    How does your specific company contribute to sustainability / innovation / new technologies in a concrete way? 

Safran is working on innovative technologies to contribute to a “zero emission” aviation by 2050 and is investing over 4 billion euros in research and technology of which 75% will be dedicated to the decarbonisation of aviation. For instance, we have launched the RISE program with our partner GE to develop disruptive technologies for a new generation of sustainable aircraft engines that will burn 20% less fuel and be 100% compatible with sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). We are also working on new materials to develop more lightweight equipment, and developing hybrid or full electric propulsion technologies 

4    Please elaborate on the best decision you made in your professional career? What advice would you give the younger generation about choosing a career in aerospace? 

Clearly the best decision I made was joining the aerospace industry. Joining our industry means making an active contribution to some of the most important political and social challenges facing society today – decarbonisation and protection of citizens. At the same time the digital transformation is changing the way we operate across the entire industry. So to anyone thinking about their future career I would say without hesitation that they should join this industry to have the opportunity to pioneer the technological revolution that is impacting us all personally and collectively.  

5    If you could meet one famous aerospace personality - living or dead: Who would it be and why? 

In the history of our industry there are so many outstanding personalities who have achieved remarkable things. But if I had to choose one extraordinary character to meet I think it would be the engineer Joseph Szydlowski. Born in Poland into a Jewish family and founder of Turbomeca in 1938, he moved his company at the outbreak of the second World War to a region in the South West of France. Whilst he had to move to Switzerland for the duration of the war, he returned to Bordes to transform his company into the world leading helicopter engine maker that it remains today as Safran Helicopter Engines. 


© Sylvain Cambon / Safran