Investing in France : Optima Aero's bet
for the establishment of its EMEA headquarters

Founded in Canada in 2010, Optima Aero is a specialist 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 in 2022 the need to create a European subsidiary. Wishing to develop in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) market, Optima Aero’s managers had pre-selected France and Germany as strategic locations. 

France quickly came to the top of the list of the most interesting locations, notably for its location close to the African continent and Southern Europe, as well as its leadership in the aeronautical market. The South West region and particularly the cities of Bordeaux, Agen, Pau and Biarritz were selected for their dynamism in this sector, as well as their proximity to the world competitiveness cluster in the aeronautics sector: Aerospace Valley. 

Thanks to the reactivity and work of Basque Invest, the managers of Optima Aero quickly chose to set up in the Basque Country, which has a complete ecosystem around the aeronautical sector and the circular economy.  

Basque Invest accompagne les entreprises aéronautiques en France

The Basque Country, a strategic location for the aeronautical industry and the circular economy

For many years, the Basque Country has benefited from its proximity to leading companies in the aeronautical industry, such as Safran Helicopters, which trains all its employees worldwide in helicopter maintenance at its Tarnos site. The ESTIA (“Ecole Supérieure des Technologies Industrielles Avancées”), its Turbo Lab (a building dedicated to propulsion energies), Compositadour and Biarritz airport (2nd airport in the New Aquitaine Region in terms of passenger traffic in 2021, and 17th airport in France in terms of the number of passengers) also contribute to the influence of the aeronautical sector in the Basque Country. 

As a company committed to the circular economy, Optima Aero can benefit from a dynamic ecosystem around eco-responsibility in the Basque Country. Numerous clusters, technology parks, companies and educational establishments such as the ESTIA have created synergies in order to boost the Basque territory around innovative issues. 

Setting up a foreign company in the Basque Country requires knowledge of the local network, and Basque Invest was a key link in the establishment of Optima Aero’s EMEA (Europe Middle-East Africa) headquarters. 

Basque Invest's support for the implementation of Optima Aero

In order to successfully set up Optima Aero, Basque Invest has capitalized on its knowledge, network and skills to :

  • Present to the managers the complete ecosystem existing in the aeronautical sector in the Basque Country to boost their activity and create synergies
  • Assist in the recruitment of new management and operational teams for the European subsidiary
  • Put the company in touch with local infrastructures and companies such as Safran Helicopters, the Bayonne Pays Basque Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Biarritz airport
  • Support the relationship with local banks to quickly set up the project 
  • Help to carry out communication operations thanks to contacts with local and national media (press, TV)

Thanks to the support of Basque Invest, Optima Aero was able to set up in Anglet, where its European headquarters were inaugurated in February 2023. The company presented its development projects for the coming years, including its ambition to build a 5,000 square meter factory.