“Ride-sharing, in the old days, was everyone hopping in the VW bus to see [the Grateful Dead’s] Jerry [Garcia]. Now it’s about getting a seat on a King Air 350i ”
Completion and refurbishment centers
It has been a long recession but independent completion and refurbishment centers are starting a slow return to profitability. Some semblance of a backlog suggests that the recovery, if not rapid, will at least continue.
It hasn’t hurt that the first Global Express XRS business jets from Bombardier are due for required major inspections starting in April 2013. Those completion and refurbishment centers that are also certified for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) work expect to be doing a lot of refurbishment at the same time. They’re already booking slots.
Centers certified to do MRO on the Boeing Business Jet and Airbus Corporate Jet (ACJ319 and ACJ320) are already working on a backlog. Both aircraft began entering service in the late 1990s and are starting to come in for D-checks, which are required every 12 years. And again, most of the owners are taking advantage of the downtime to include a cabin refurbishment.
Activity at centers working on executive variants of airliners is also picking up speed as Boeing begins deliveries of its latest offerings–the 747-8 and 787. Boeing flew the first 747-8 to a completion center earlier this year and expects to serve up seven more by the end of 2012. The company plans to deliver the first two of 12 orders for the 787 variant in 2013.
The bottom line this year is the same as it was last year: don’t wait to book a completion or refurbishment slot. Openings are limited and are already being hotly contested. So start planning now, by perusing the list on the PDF that's accessible from this page
UPDATE: Keystone Helicopter, which is listed on the PDF, is no longer in business.
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