Flying Colours could be little more than a year away from opening its planned new completions center in Asia, with the firm close to concluding a partnership agreement in the region. CEO John Gillespie told AIN that the decision to make the move is a natural one because 70 percent of its completion capacity is currently dedicated to aircraft destined for the Asian market. “It’s a busy market for us,” said Gillespie, “not just China, but Indonesia and Malaysia as well.”
The Canadian company specializes in Bombardier’s large-cabin aircraft, such as the Bombardier Challenger 850, Global family and CRJ conversions. These aircraft types are well represented in the ABACE static display, and the company said its completion supplementary type certificates covering a wide range of jurisdictions, including China, Hong Kong, the U.S. and Canada.
Headquartered in Peterborough, Ontario, Flying Colours and its JetCorp Technical Services subsidiary in St. Louis, Missouri, currently has 17 aircraft under completion, 13 of which are for Asian customers. The company said having a facility in the region will allow it to better serve those customers in the future. “After-sales support is a key area we want to develop for our customers and for ourselves,” said Gillespie.
While a location for the facility has yet to be chosen, Gillespie said the company is considering mainland China. It expects to announce a joint partnership venture within the next month and has already started the recruitment process for staff.
Flying Colours has an agreement with a college near its Canadian base to train completions workers. The college provides the academic coursework for the one-year program, while the company gives the technical training. According to Gillespie, initial workers for its Asian operation will be sent from its North American locations but it will use its existing arrangements to train local workers to replace them.
The company said its Asian facility would open a year after any agreement is finalized.