Banyan partners with DeCrane on refurbs

 - October 8, 2007, 9:51 AM

Positioning itself to take advantage of an expected economic recovery, Banyan Air Service, the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based full-service FBO, has signed a contract with DeCrane Cabin Interiors of Tucson, Ariz., in a joint venture to offer business aircraft cabin refurbishment services.

Paul Rose, v-p of technical sales and support at Banyan, said the agreement does not represent a “marriage” and that interior components from other manufacturers will be available. Banyan, he noted, is a dealer for Honeywell and Airshow products, “so we will install whatever matches the customer’s needs.”

If not a marriage, the partnership is nevertheless one that puts Banyan and DeCrane at least in the same bed, and expands DeCrane’s role in the completion and refurbishment business.

“We have partnered with DeCrane to offer our customers complete cabin interiors, including everything from minor repairs to major refurbishments,” said Lenny Baldwin, Banyan’s in-house liaison with DeCrane. He noted that Banyan can now offer on-site cabinetry and woodworking, upholstery and refoaming, carpet sewing and surging and precious-metal plating, as well as installation of in-flight entertainment and cabin-management systems.

Baldwin said Banyan will quote and invoice for projects since the company will be managing, inspecting and approving all modifications and refurbishments under its own FAA-authorized service center status. This will also allow Banyan to handle inspections, certifications, STCs and returns-to-service. Banyan is located at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, where it leases about 3,000 sq ft of office space
to DeCrane.

The two companies will share certain aspects of the partnership, including sales visits, pricing and engineering. The process of stripping out interiors and installation of new components will also involve the joint efforts of workers from both Banyan and DeCrane, with DeCrane as the lead.

DeCrane Cabin Interiors–a subsidiary of DeCrane Cabin Management, itself a division of DeCrane Aircraft–produces a broad range of interior components, including cabinetry; lavatory and galley fittings; cabin sidewalls; and cabin-entertainment and management systems.

Another division, DeCrane Aircraft Seating, is a major provider of business aircraft executive seats.

DeCrane Aircraft had promoted itself as a one-stop shop for cabin interior products, but since 2001 it has been moving into the completion and refurbishment business. DeCrane’s Systems Integration Group finished its first installation of an executive BBJ2 interior last September and delivered a BBJ with a similar interior last month.
The group is also negotiating to provide cabin interiors for a series of Global Express business jets.

The partnership with Banyan is an expansion of the DeCrane Cabin Interiors shop in the Bombardier Service Center at Fort Lauderdale International Airport. The facility, which opened in February last year, is devoted to interior repair and refurbishment of Bombardier aircraft. DeCrane also has a similar agreement with Bombardier to provide “line” interior work at the aircraft manufacturer’s Dallas facility. The agreement with Banyan will allow DeCrane to expand its interior refurbishment capabilities to include airplanes made by other manufacturers.

It will also put Banyan in a competitive position to provide maintenance and refurbishment service on interior components built by DeCrane Aircraft’s various divisions. In addition to DeCrane’s presence at the Bombardier Service Center in Fort Lauderdale, the parent company has been selected to provide “the total cabin interior” for Bombardier’s Challenger 300, the first of which will be delivered by year-end to Flexjet, Bombardier’s fractional program.