Flying Colours Completes More Than 25 ExecLiners
With more than 25 ExecLiner corporate conversions of Canadair CRJ200 regional jets contracted and an expanding clientele in the Asia Pacific region for work on other Bombardier products, Flying Colours (Booth No. 912) is close to selecting a Far East partner. “Interest in our services in this region has increased dramatically and we are receiving a growing number of requests from the Indonesian area, particularly,” said sales and marketing executive v-p Eric Gillespie.
Flying Colours specializes in aircraft completions, interior refurbishment and modification, maintenance, paint and avionics installation. To expand capacity and its penetration into aircraft services, in 2009 Flying Colours acquired JetCorp Technical Services, a Part 145 repair station in Chesterfield, Mo. This year, JetCorp completed work on a CRJ (the twelfth Flying Colours ExecLiner
conversion) for Indonesia, and delivered three new Bombardier Challenger 850 completions to Mainland China and Hong Kong.
At last year’s NBAA Convention, Flying Colours demonstrated its international aspirations by signing a memorandum of understanding with Hong Kong-based Metrojet. Under the partnership, the company planned to establish a regional base to focus on interior refurbishment for midsize- to large business aircraft. That memorandum, which remains valid, Flying Colours is continuing to survey Asia Pacific opportunities. “It is still our plan to open a joint-venture facility in that region,” said Gillespie last month. “Negotiations with several possible partners are ongoing and we hope to be in a position to make an announcement in the near future.” Such a partnership would not be limited to interior refurbishment and could include new completions or conversions.
The contract for the first Indonesian CRJ ExecLiner conversion, the fourth undertaken by JetCorp, required Flying Colours to work closely with the private client and Bombardier to achieve Indonesian type certification for the CRJ200, which includes local regulatory validation of a Flying Colours FAA supplemental type certificate (STC). The aircraft specification included reconfiguration with a new galley, first-class lavatory and 22 seats, which is more than what has been installed in previously completed ExecLiners.
In addition to an extensive prepurchase evaluation and interior conversion, the contract included landing gear overhaul, an eight-year inspection, conversion from a high- to a low-utilization maintenance program and the incorporation of all outstanding airworthiness directives. The cabin specification included JetCorp construction of new monuments, soft goods and woodwork and avionics upgrades, with exterior paint and final sign-off at the Flying Colours headquarters in Canada.
But all conversions are not necessarily joint projects involving both Flying Colours and JetCorp; they can be independent projects, explained Gillespie. “It depends on the specific conversion. JetCorp is a subsidiary of Flying Colours and all CRJ conversions done there are going to be accomplished in conjunction with our head office. It usually comes down to [local] capacity and customer requirements.”
By last month Flying Colours had completed and delivered 13 CRJ ExecLiner conversions, of which four were “on spec” with the remainder covered by individual contracts. “We currently have nine additional CRJ conversion projects under way in-house and have contracts for an additional four aircraft,” said Gillespie. Customers are in Lebanon, Macau, Malaysia, Russia and the U.S.
Flying Colours is a Bombardier authorized service facility for Challenger and Challenger 850 completions. With its subsidiaries, the company holds STCs for items on various aircraft models, including a CRJ200 auxiliary fuel system, a CRJ200 executive interior and a green Challenger 850 executive interior.