When Yankee Pacific president and CEO Ken Goldsmith says his sprawling company of cabin completion subcontractors started small, he isn’t being disingenuous.
The company began in 2002 with a single office in Tulsa, Okla., and a staff of 24 providing single- and twin-aisle executive aircraft engineering services, mostly to the German cabin completion and refurbishment giant and then-partner Lufthansa Technik. Two years later, Yankee Pacific acquired Lufthansa Technik’s share and launched itself anew as a subcontractor to the completion and refurbishment industry. The company has grown steadily since.
The Yankee Pacific boss works out of his headquarters/home in Rye, N.H., where he can take a break to go jogging or head downstairs for a workout in the gym. Staying in shape is a small part of a routine that keeps Goldsmith busy and on the road a considerable amount of the time to visit the somewhat far-flung Yankee Pacific business entities.
There are two main divisions of Yankee Pacific. Jormac Aerospace in Clearwater, Fla., employs about 80 and specializes in cabin liner systems–sidewalls, under-floor structures, overheads, bulkheads and attach fittings for seats and monuments. Jormac engineers also conduct cabin stress and decompression analyses.
In Lewisville, Texas, Cabin Innovations specializes in custom cabinetry manufacturing–from the galley to the lavatory. With a core group of 55 in a new 40,000-sq-ft facility, said Goldsmith, “we’ve built up capability and a reputation for quality.” While production is in Lewisville, the company’s design, engineering and certification office is located in Tulsa. “Our business model,” he explained, “is to be a first-tier subcontractor to the entire industry. And at this point, we’re providing support to almost every major completion center.”
A recent job was a Boeing 727 refurbishment by Cabin Innovations that required stripping and re-covering virtually every monument in the cabin. Currently, Jormac is providing liner systems for a major Boeing Business Jet interior being completed by JetTech in Spokane, Wash.
Over the next several years, Goldsmith foresees the single- and twin-aisle cabin completion segment going through a “sorting out” process as the executive Boeing 747-8 and 787 backlog grows and as new executive Airbus A350s begin arriving at about the time Boeing completions begin to peak. And he noted as well that growing numbers of single-aisle Airbus ACJs and Boeing Business Jets start coming due for 12-year inspections. A lot of those airplanes haven’t had a major cabin upgrade since delivery, and Goldsmith expects that to be a major driver in the refurbishment business.
Goldsmith saw the current economic downturn begin earlier than most, in late 2007. But despite an industry hit hard by the recession and political and media criticism, he allowed as how “there has been a surprisingly steady flow of [narrow- and widebody] executive aircraft for completion. Last year was flat but it was a good year, considering that we had expected it to represent a downturn.” As for what many perceive as an industry recovery, he said, “It isn’t as robust as we’ve seen in the past, nor as robust as we had expected it to be.”
As for 2011, Goldsmith expects the single- and twin-aisle airliner refurbishment business to be better than in 2010. “We think 2012 and 2013 will be pretty busy. In fact, we’re already seeing capacity constraints.”