Analysis of the evolution of companies in the aeronautics and aerospace sector in Galicia


This study is entitled: “Analysis of the evolution of companies in the aeronautical and aerospace sector in Galicia”.

The different parts which it comprises are set out below, along with useful information about the study.


The organisation selected to conduct the study was the Valencian Institute of Economic Research (Ivie), whose website is

The Ivie is a centre dedicated to developing and promoting economic research and disseminating it in the national and international sphere.

To achieve these objectives:

Created in 1990 by the Generalitat Valenciana, the Ivie is currently an institution which receives the support of CaixaBank, the BBVA Foundation, the Mediterranean Foundation, Ford-Spain, the Savings Banks Foundation and the Cañada Blanch Foundation.

To carry out its research, the Ivie works in close collaboration with Valencian universities. A group of lecturers from the University of Valencia, the University of Alicante, Jaume I University and other universities oversee the studies and research of the institute, guaranteeing the academic prestige of the work produced.

In 2011, the Ivie created the Ivie Foundation of the Valencian Community, with the aim of intensifying the development of activities in the general interest in the sphere of economic research and training, and strengthening collaboration with other institutions. In the context of this line of actions, since 2013 the Ivie has been a research institute which is a member of the University of Valencia.

Research team

The study was performed by the following team composed of researchers and lecturers from the Ivie and the University of Valencia, with the support of Ivie technical officers.

José Manuel Pastor

Dr Pastor is a professor of Foundations of Economic Analysis at the University of Valencia. He was the dean of the Faculty of Economics of the UV from 2015-2021. Furthermore, he is the director of the Chair of the Sustainable Economic Model of Valencia and its Surroundings (MESVAL) of the Valencia City Council. His academic background includes a B.Sc. in Economic and Business Sciences (1990) and a Ph.D. in Economic and Business Sciences from the University of Valencia (1990), receiving the unanimous qualification of cum laude (extraordinary award) for his thesis. His specialist fields are the economics of education, regional economics and banking economics. He has worked as a visiting researcher at Florida State University (USA) and at the College of Business, Law, Education and Social Sciences at Bangor University (United Kingdom), as well as an external consultant for the World Bank. It is worth stressing his prolific career as a researcher collaborating on over 50 books and with more than 80 articles in specialist scientific journals.

Manuela Pardo del Val

Manuela Pardo is currently a lecturer in the department of Business Management of the University of Valencia. Her academic qualifications are a B.Sc. in Economic and Business Sciences and an M.Sc. in Tourism Management from the University of Valencia. She defended her thesis in 2002 with European honours, receiving the Extraordinary Doctorate Award. With over 40 articles published in academic journals, she has also presented her research at national and international forums, including the Iberoamerican Academy of Management, International Business and Management Journals Network (INBAM) and the European Academy of Management. She has completed international stays at the University of Exeter and South Bank University (United Kingdom), the University of Cologne (Germany), Vienna University of Economics and Business (Austria) and nationally at the Charles III University and the University of Zaragoza.

Carlos Albert

Carlos Albert has a B.Sc. in Economics and an M.Sc. in Development, Integration and Economic Institutions from the University of Valencia. He received a collaboration scholarship in the Department of Economic Analysis of this university in 2007. In 2012 he joined the same department as an adjunct lecturer. Since 2008, he has been working as a research technician at Ivie. He is the co-author of book chapters and reports, notable among which are those prepared by the Government, Strategy and Companies Competitiveness Observatory (GECE), dedicated to analysing the levels of competitiveness of Spanish companies, as well as the factors and internal causes contributing to the same. His research areas include: regional economics, business competitiveness, economic impact studies, rural development and assessment of public policies.

Study summary

The objective of this report is to define the activities linked to the aeronautical and space sector in Galicia and Spain, to subsequently analyse the recent evolution of the sector, its main characteristics and the foundations which underlie the consolidation of the sector, its recent growth and its internationalisation. The report illustrates the importance of the sector in Galicia and Spain with a wealth of statistical information which permits the provision of an objective assessment grounded in data of the importance of the activity carried out.

The aeronautical and space sector is not only important due to its GDP contributions to economies, but also because it is a leading sector in many respects. Firstly, it consists of a strategic sector for which any developed economy would like to reduce its level of dependence. Secondly, the aeronautical sector is one of those which reinvests the greatest proportion of its turnover in R&D+i, consolidating it as a driver of innovation which has a significant direct positive effect on the overall productivity and competitiveness of the economy by causing spill-over effects on other industries. Thirdly, it is a sector which generates quality employment, with high qualifications and high pay. Finally, it is a highly internationalised sector in which 85% of turnover is linked to exports.

In effect, the figures of the aeronautical and space industry show that it is a strategic and important sector undergoing significant expansion. According to SABI, in 2019 in Spain there were around a hundred companies with direct activity in the sector with turnover of close to €11 billion and employing over 25,000 people. Nevertheless, these figures only include companies whose activity falls within sector 3030 of the CNAE and, therefore, underestimates the true importance of the “aerospace cluster” of companies, also composed of other companies which devote a large proportion of their activity to this sector in a set of very heterogenous activities.

Based on these premises, it is essential, first of all, to undertake an adequate characterisation of the sector, precisely defining the set of companies whose activity is devoted totally or in its majority to the branch of aeronautical and space activity and which constitutes the “aerospace cluster”. Furthermore, it is convenient to analyse the recent evolution of the aggregate of the cluster of aeronautical companies in Galicia and compare them with their counterparts in Spain as a whole.
The report not only reviewed the net growth of companies from the sector, but also the importance of the “aeronautical cluster” in terms of VAB, employment generated and the number and type of companies which it comprises. To do so, information supplied by a range of relevant sources was taken into consideration, such as DIRCE and the Regional Accounts prepared by the INE. The report also analyses the competitiveness of the sector, comparing the volume of companies by level of competitiveness in the aeronautical sector in Galicia with that of Spain. Furthermore, given that competitiveness affects business results, it also reviewed indicators such as productivity per employee and per asset, profitability, liquidity, long-term solvency, indebtedness and levels of internationalisation.

This made it possible to analyse whether the growth of the sector in Galicia and Spain has come about based on the creation of new companies or, on the contrary, has been based more on the strengthening and increase in size of companies already in existence. Furthermore, whichever the case may be, the foundations of this growth were analysed, assessing whether it consisted of a consolidation process based on a strengthening of national markets or, on the contrary, it has been based more on an increase in the internationalisation of their activities.

The report was completed with qualitative information from personal interviews with representatives of companies from the sector who gave their opinions on the specific characteristics of the sector, their consolidation strategies and on the future evolution of the sector in terms of challenges which must be faced and longer-term future perspectives.

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