King Aerospace (booth 4166) is staffing up in pursuit of more VIP completions business. According to chairman Jerry King-Echevarria, the company sees an opportunity in the growing worldwide gap between demand and supply gap over the next few years.
Oklahoma-based King Aerospace is working on a Lockheed L-1011 TriStar and a Boeing 737 for VIP clients. “We’re now talking to Airbus about completing A330s and A340s and to Boeing about the 787 and 747-8,” King-Echevarria says.
The company has also announced seven senior appointments. “These new team members are part of an expansion to help our company deal with the growing demand for VIP aircraft customization, updating and servicing,” says King-Echevarria.
Formerly with Dallas-based Associated Air Center, Alberto Cervantes is joining King as purchasing manager. Another ex-AAC man, Frederick Lawson, has been appointed interior manager, while Lawrence Popp project manager.
Monnie Weems takes on responsibility for avionics, David Ruiz becomes cabinet shop supervisor, and Jeffrey Wymans sheet metal supervisor. Jeffrey Frink is named planning supervisor.
The established completions centers face a wild ride over the next few years as they scramble to add capacity to cope with a growing bulge in the number of widebodies to be fitted with VIP interiors.
“We expect to see 18-20 widebodies – Boeing 747-8s and 787s, Airbus A330s, A340s, even an A380 - coming on to the global completions market between now and 2015,” Lufthansa Technik sales and marketing vice-president Walter Heerdt said at this year’s EBACE show in Geneva.
He was echoed by Boeing Business Jet president Steve Hill, who said that steep growth in the number of people with very high levels of personal wealth was driving up demand for VIP aircraft. “At the moment there is enough completions capacity, but I worry about 2010 and beyond,” he said.
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