Scores of professional pilots found themselves unemployed after the fallout from 9/11. Some of these pilots have responded by creating their own aviation business–not an easy task amid the current economic climate, especially in Europe.
Netherlands-based Fokker Services, a subsidiary of Stork Aerospace, is in the executive interiors business. Actually, the company has been converting Fokkers for private use since the 1980s, but not so much as a core revenue stream.
Officials from Stork-Fokker Services are meeting with IranAir’s new chairman and managing director Saeid Hesami here at the show to talk over plans to send another three Fokker 100s from Brazil’s TAM to the Islamic Republic’s national carrier. IranAir has become Fokker Services’ best customer in the region primarily because a U.S. trade embargo limits the shipment to Iran of aircraft with more than 10-percent U.S. content.
Fokker Services, part of Stork Aerospace, announced it has signed a letter of intent for the acquisition of a controlling (51 percent) interest in Piedmont Aviation Component Services and a 49-percent strategic interest in Limco Airepair. The move is a continuation of the company’s planned expansion into the U.S. aerospace services market. It follows the acquisition of Fairhope, Ala.-based Airinc last July.
Dutch operator Denim Air, which claims to be Europe’s leading regional airline aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance (ACMI) service provider, is expanding its twin-turboprop fleet and considering adding small jetliners to meet increased demand for wet-lease capacity, including requirements outside the region. The company has also secured a number of new or renewed contracts.
High-end, Geneva-based cabin refurbishing specialist Burnet Interiors is boosting its skilled workforce from 18 to 25 to meet rising customer demand. Simultaneously, its 7,500-sq-ft facility on the northwest side of Geneva International Airport is growing by 15 percent, although the company would like to expand that as well.
A surge of orders for executive conversions of airliners and projections for continued buoyancy in the business aviation market at large has convinced Stork Aerospace to embark on a “major” expansion of its Fokker Services conversion and completions business.
Following earlier unsuccessful efforts, revival of the 79- and 107-seat Fokker 70 and 100 regional jets could now depend on the development of a “new, more modern engine,” according to Rekkof chairman Jaap Rosen Jacobson. Rekkof acquired F70/F100 tooling and design rights after the Dutch manufacturer’s 1996 failure.
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