One of the largest private aviation companies, Flexjet, has added Flying Colours Corp., a large aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company, to the Flexjet family of companies. This deal expands the maintenance and product support network, with facilities in the United States, Canada and Europe supporting Flexjet’s rapidly growing fleet.
Earlier this year Flexjet acquired Constant Aviation, another provider of MRO services. Constant has MRO facilities at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (ICAO: KCLE) and Orlando Sanford (Florida) International Airport (ICAO: KSFB). The Constant acquisition also brought a nationwide Aircraft on Ground (AOG) mobile response network, with support teams deploying from 28 U.S. locations and the capacity to serve the entire continental U.S. and Caribbean markets. The teams can respond to maintenance requests from aircraft at multiple airports in every region that lacks dedicated facilities.
Flying Colours, headquartered in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, offers a full range of MRO services and also a comprehensive set of additional capabilities focused on aircraft interior completions and refurbishments, as well as custom aircraft painting.
The recently opened paint and completions hangars at Flying Colours’ facility at Peterborough Airport provides a primary 40,000 square foot paint hangar that can handle any size business aircraft as well as airliner category aircraft. The new completions hangar, at 61,000 square feet, is among the industry’s largest, enabling Flying Colours to handle multiple aircraft simultaneously.
“Bringing the capabilities of Constant Aviation, which Flexjet bought earlier this year, and now Flying Colours in-house enables us to ensure both the highest possible service quality and the maximum availability of aircraft for our Owners,” said Flexjet Chairman, Kenn Ricci. “Unlike other companies in our space that rely on third-party providers for their MRO needs, Flexjet now fully controls its maintenance and product support needs, and this aligns with our strategic vision of differentiating ourselves from the competition at every level and in every way. We’re thrilled to welcome the talented Flying Colours team to Flexjet with their 40+ year history of excellence as a global leader in aircraft completions.”
Overall, Flexjet’s global maintenance facility footprint now includes 12 primary maintenance facilities and 30 geographically strategic AOG teams to provide field support to the Flexjet fleet. This includes the new Flying Colours facilities at Peterborough Airport and at Spirit of St. Louis Airport (located west of St. Louis, Missouri).
Approximately 250 Flying Colours team members will join Flexjet. In addition, Flexjet is actively in the process of hiring nearly 200 core technicians during the current year.
Reasons for Acquisitions
SherpaReport spoke to Andrew Collins co-Chief Executive Officer of Flexjet to further understand the drivers for these recent MRO acquisitions.
Back in 2015 Flexjet introduced its Red Label program which brought fully customized, handcrafted interiors to its aircraft, and the planes in this program now have one of thirty custom interiors with hand-sewn premium leathers, exotic woods, masterful metalwork, and tailored textiles. It does create some very unique interiors when compared to most large fleets of aircraft, which tend to be very standardized in their look and feel.
Both Constant Aviation and Flying Colours do cabin design and fitting work. So having these two companies tightly integrated into the other Flexjet operations enables all the pieces to work together.
“The cornerstone of the Flexjet brand is to create the best possible cabin experience,” said Andrew Collins, adding “The livery in the Red Label fleet is very complex. We really need vertical integration, to make sure it’s up to Red Label standard.”
In addition to the cabin work, another part of this equation is also to bring all the maintenance and repair work in house. Just as there has been high demand for qualified pilots, there has also been very high demand for qualified maintenance staff and technicians.
“This provides capacity on the completion side,” said Andrew Collins, noting that “if we are dependent on 3rd parties, their schedules are very full.”
Collins also pointed out that the combinations allow Flexjet to integrate the MRO and AOG pieces Think of the mobile AOG teams as first responders, including dedicated maintenance, avionics and structure technicians who can quickly get to any aircraft when it first needs attention.
As Flexjet expand its fleet, heading to 270 aircraft this year, with more additions planned for future years, it is clearly looking to keep these aircraft well maintained and active.