Comlux ends partnership with Airbus Corporate Jet Centre

 - December 28, 2009, 6:10 AM

The Comlux Group, which became a 40-percent shareholder in the Airbus Corporate Jet Centre (ACJC) in May 2008, has withdrawn by mutual agreement from that partnership to focus on its new facilities in Indianapolis.

Comlux Group’s parent company, The Aviation Group of Zurich, acquired the Indianapolis facility in November 2008 with the purchase of the former Indianapolis Jet Center. The following September, Comlux announced it had begun an initial investment of $3.4 million in its new acquisition. Phase two of the project calls for investment of another $46 million and will include, “at some point in the future,” a new hangar capable of accommodating aircraft as large as the A380.

The center includes Comlux America, which focuses on Airbus product completion, and Comlux Aviation Services, which occupies itself with Bombardier completion work as well as maintenance and other services.

This most recent decision, said Comlux Group president and CEO Richard Gaona, is part of a long-term strategy of further investment. The goal is to make its Indianapolis holdings a major force in aircraft completion, refurbishment and maintenance.

Finalized shortly after the Dubai Airshow in mid-November, dissolution of the partnership sees the return of Comlux’s original investment in ACJC. Gaona emphasized that the relationship with Airbus remains cordial. In fact, the Comlux charter business in Europe already operates nine executive ACJ-series aircraft from Airbus and ordered a 10th Airbus in November. Gaona himself had a decade-long history with Airbus, during which time he served as vice president of executive and private aviation.

The Indianapolis business is currently at work on its first refurbishment project, a Global Express. Gaona expects it will begin work on a green Bombardier Challenger 850 this month and will take in its first Airbus, a green A320, next month. According to Gaona, the facility will be able to handle cabin completion for two to three ACJs per year.

The facility has been approved as an official Bombardier service center and expects Airbus approval for completion work on the manufacturer’s ACJ series of business jets (the A318 Elite, A319 ACJ and A320 Prestige).