Optima aero invests in france for its emea headquarters


Founded in Canada in 2010, Optima Aero specializes in the refurbishment and supply of high-quality parts for helicopter engines. A major player in the circular economy, working for leading aerospace companies, Optima Aero identified the need to create a European subsidiary in 2022. Wishing to expand into the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) market, Optima Aero’s management had pre-selected France and Germany as strategic locations.

France quickly emerged as the most attractive location, notably for its proximity to the African continent and Southern Europe, as well as its leadership in the aeronautical market. The south west region, and in particular the cities of Bordeaux, Agen, Pau and Biarritz, were selected for their dynamism in this sector, as well as their proximity to the Aerospace Valley global competitiveness cluster.

Thanks to the responsiveness and hard work of BASQUE INVEST, Optima Aero’s managers quickly decided to set up in the Basque Country, which boasts a complete ecosystem around the aeronautics industry and the circular economy.

The basque country, a strategic location for the aeronautics industry and the circular economy

For many years, the Basque Country has benefited from the presence of leading companies in the aeronautics industry, such as Safran Helicopters, which trains all its employees worldwide in helicopter maintenance at its Tarnos site. ESTIA (Ecole Supérieure des Technologies Industrielles Avancées), its Turbo Lab (a building dedicated to propulsion energy), Compositadour and Biarritz airport (2nd airport in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region in terms of passenger traffic in 2021, and 17th airport in mainland France in terms of passenger numbers) also contribute to the Basque region’s reputation in the aeronautics sector.

As a company committed to the circular economy, Optima Aero benefits from a dynamic eco-sustainability ecosystem in the Basque Country. Numerous clusters, technopoles, companies and educational establishments such as ESTIA have created synergies to energize the region around innovative issues.

Since setting up a foreign company in the Basque Country requires knowledge of the local network, BASQUE INVEST played a key part in the establishment of Optima Aero’s EMEA headquarters.

BASQUE INVEST helps Optima Aero set up shop

To help Optima Aero set up successfully, BASQUE INVEST capitalized on its knowledge, network and skills to:

  • Introduce managers to the entire ecosystem of the aeronautical industry in the Basque Country, to boost their business and create synergies.
  • Assist with recruitment.
  • Put the company in touch with local infrastructures and companies such as Manustock, Adecco, CCI Bayonne Pays Basque and Biarritz airport.
  • Support relationships with local banks to rapidly set up the project.
  • Help set up communications operations through contacts with local and national media (press, TV).

Thanks to the support of BASQUE INVEST, Optima Aero was able to open its European headquarters in Anglet in February 2023. They are currently developing new management and operational teams for this European subsidiary and hope to build a 5,000-square-meter factory in the future.