The Safran group, one of the world leaders in aircraft, helicopter and rocket engines, is the result of the merger in 2004 of Sagem and Snecma, two groups created at the beginning of the 20th century. It is a pillar of both the French arms industry and the French aeronautics industry, a sector on which it recently refocused by selling its biometrics activities (Morpho, now Idemia ) in 2016 and by buying Zodiac Aerospace in 2018. It remains very close to the state apparatus, although the public authorities only hold 11% of the group’s capital.
As a defense company, Safran contributes to the sale of French arms to repressive governments or engaged in decried wars, such as Egypt or Saudi Arabia. It also participates in the lobbying efforts of the French arms industry to obtain more public funds at European level.
It is more recently that Safran’s aeronautical activities have started to become a subject of dispute, with the rise of the issue of climate and greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation sector. Safran, like other groups in the sector, is now engaged in considerable efforts to paint its business green.
Strongly affected by the first phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, the group took the opportunity to cut into its global workforce.