Bombardier has appointed Canada’s Flying Colours to handle an extensive interior modification of seven Bombardier CRJ700 NextGen aircraft for an undisclosed Chinese customer. The work will be conducted over a two-year period and part of the new-look cabins will be fitted out for VIP use.
The project will be implemented through a new supplemental type certificate with approval by Chinese authorities. The first aircraft is due to be delivered by Bombardier to Flying Colours’s facility in Peterborough, Ontario, in the fourth quarter of this year, and the first delivery to the customer is anticipated in the first quarter of 2015.
This will be the first CRJ700 conversion done by Flying Colours, which already has extensive experience in converting the smaller CRJ200 regional airliner for corporate and private use. The company is a preferred completion center for Bombardier’s Challenger aircraft and this year is set to undertake the completion of five green Challenger 850s.
Executive vice president Sean Gillespie told AIN that it has been focusing on expansion plans in the Chinese market. “We’re getting to the stage where we would like to have a completion center there,” he said. The company has started the process of trying to establish a local partnership, a process that he admitted has been “slower than anticipated.” It has already recruited Chinese-speaking staff.
Gillespie said that it is also seeing growing demand for private aircraft in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. In Flying Colours’s experience, Asian customers have shown a preference for red and burgundy-colored interiors, different textures to those common in the West and a large appetite for the latest cabin technology.
The company also has worked on Dassault Falcon aircraft, as well as Beechcraft, Gulfstream and Embraer. “There is now a lot of interest in converting pre-owned aircraft because airframes are more available,” Gillespie concluded.o