Flying Colours flying high with green 850 contracts
Flying Colours, a Canadian independent completion and refurbishment center, is knee-deep in cabin finish work on Challenger 850s and conversions of CRJ200 regional jets to executive/VIP use. It delivered its first Challenger 850 completion under contract to Bombardier in December, has six more in various stages of cabin finish work and is awaiting arrival of a neighth aircraft.
The Peterborough, Ontario-based center also is reconfiguring Bombardier CRJ-200 regional jets to executive/VIP configuration. “We’ve already delivered seven of the converted CRJ200s, two of them under our own ExecLiner brand,” said sales and marketing director Sean Gillespie. Other conversions were done for aircraft brokers who purchased the aircraft and had them completed by Flying Colours (Booth No. 563) on behalf of customers.
Gillespie believes there is a strong market in Eastern Europe for the 850 and indeed the first delivered by Flying Colours is now based in Moscow. Most of the Challenger 850 completions and ExecLiners are being finished at its Peterborough headquarters. A smaller number are being done at Flying Colours’ JetCorp subsidiary in St. Louis.
While most of the Challenger 850 work is performed under contract with Bombardier on behalf of the owner, some have been bought green from the OEM and the owners have dealt directly with Flying Colours for cabin finish work. The time required for a green completion or reconfiguration is the same–from eight to 10 months, depending on the complexity of the project.
Gillespie said Peterborough Airport is in the midst of a major runway extension and infrastructure upgrade. When the dust begins to settle, Flying Colours will start work “toward the end of the first quarter 2011” on a new interior completion and paint facility to complement the existing shops.
While some North American independent completion and refurbishment facilities have been forced by the recession to cut back, and a few have even gone out of business, Flying Colours is hiring. “We’re recruiting,” said Gillespie, “particularly in avionics and interior completion. We’re looking for skilled people who can come in and go right to work.”