By Ariel Graham | DFW Newsflash | May 2018
RECARO Aircraft Seating Americas celebrated 20 years in Fort Worth with a Texas-sized anniversary celebration on Thursday, May 17.
Headquartered in Schwabisch Hall, Germany, RECARO is among the top three, leading aircraft seat manufacturers in the world and has serviced customers all over the globe. Martin Putsch, chief executive officer of RECARO Holding, said the company originated in the automotive industry, and has since branched out to become a world-renowned name in aviation.
“RECARO is the global leader in economy-class seats,” Putsch said. “We originate out of Stuttgart, Germany, and our heritage goes all the way back to being a car body maker for Porsche and Volkswagen. [An important] part of the car has always been the seats, and in the 1970s, we started entering the aircraft seat market. Today, we are located all over the world, having been establish in the U.S., with our first establishment here, in Poland, in South Africa, and in China.”
RECARO’s Fort Worth operations began in 1998 with one assembly line and twelve employees and by 2004 had grown to 60 employees. Today, RECARO employs over 2,300 employees worldwide, including over 400 from the Fort Worth site. Putsch said the move to Fort Worth was initially spurred by a large order from American Airlines.
“In 1998, we were awarded an order from American Airlines, and we used that to take the big step and establish our first international site here in Fort Worth, Texas,” Putsch said. “It has become a long and successful partnership with American Airlines again and again.”
Thursday marked the 20th anniversary of the Fort Worth facility, and employees at RECARO were treated to a Texas-style barbecue to celebrate and thank them for all their hard work. They also got a taste of the cowboy life with photos of longhorns and horses, along with a few lessons from Cowboy U on how to toss a lasso and rope a steer. Fort Worth Mayor Pro Tem Dennis Shingleton said RECARO has proven to be a model company for the city of Fort Worth.
“RECARO Aircraft Seating represents success and is exactly the type of industry that we look for,” Shingleton said, addressing the employees. “It’s provided lots of jobs, and it’s provided lots of basis for economic growth. In the last year in our city, we have managed to put together an economic development package we consider our strategic plan. We have used you [RECARO] in the negotiations with other staff members as the epitome of the international company we want, we desire in Fort Worth.”
Likewise, Sunitha Vegerla, general manager of RECARO Aircraft Seating Americas, said the support of the city of Fort Worth has been invaluable in making RECARO’s US division a success.
“We are proud to have established ourselves in our community and look forward to continuing to build on this partnership,” Vegerla said. “Thanks to the support from our community leaders, suppliers, and other RECARO sites, our team is in a strong position for success in today’s challenging market.”
RECARO’s CEO Martin Putsch said the growing technologies in the field of aviation continue to present new challenges to his business. But the Americas team has pulled through every time, and Putsch could not be prouder of his Texas team.
“I am impressed with the Fort Worth team, and the spirit they have to take on the most difficult assignments and how they master those difficulties,” Putsch said. “I am very proud of our team here. Also, I believe that the identity of RECARO and Fort Worth, they go together very well. We’re looking forward for the next twenty years to come.”