In 2008, the Swedish market for aircraft and aircraft parts was valued at USD 643 million. The U.S. was the largest supplier with 33 percent of the imports. A major part of the imports from the U.S. was aircraft, which accounted for 62 percent while parts accounted for about 37 percent.
Strong market potential exists for U.S. suppliers with quality products in most areas of aircraft, avionics, supply of technology, as well as aircraft parts and components. Exporting U.S. products to the Swedish market is a straightforward process as there are no trade barriers or market impediments.
U.S. exporters are encouraged to closely follow the market opportunities that arise in Sweden. The Commercial Service in Stockholm is available to counsel and assist any exporters’ efforts into Sweden.
The market for aircraft and aircraft parts is closely linked to Sweden’s volume of air traffic, which rose by 0.5 percent in 2008. After three years of downturns following 9/11 in 2001, air traffic has entered an upturn with more than 30 million passengers in 2008. The forecast is that the Swedes will decrease their traveling during 2009. This is mainly due to the financial crisis which has forced many charter companies to decrease their capacity. Some of the charter companied report that they will decrease their capacity with about 10 percent during the summer.
The main expansion is in international air traffic at Sweden’s two largest airports, Stockholm-Arlanda and Goteborg-Landvetter.
The largest single buyer of U.S. aircraft and parts is the SAS Group, which is the main airline in the Nordic region. The company’s fleet includes aircraft from Airbus, Boeing and McDonell Douglas. Another major buyer of U.S. products is Saab, which operates in the defense sector (see under Key Suppliers). Other potential customers are regional airlines, operators of air taxi services and business jets.
The Swedish aircraft industry, with companies such as Saab and Volvo Aero is of great importance to U.S. suppliers. U.S. parts and components are frequently used in the production of Swedish aerospace products. Saab reports that more than 50 percent of the advanced fighter, the Gripen, is U.S. content.