Marshall Aerospace seeks to expand business aviation portfolio

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Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (Marshall ADG) has snapped up Beechcraft's largest European maintenance, repair and overhaul business as it sets its sights on strengthening its portfolio of business aviation companies.

The acquisition of Hawker Beechcraft Services Chester, based at Broughton in the UK, boosts the annual turnover of Marshall ADG's commercial aviation business from 15 to 25%. However, the Cambridge-based military aircraft modifications specialist is seeking to increase this to 40%.

"Marshall's defence business will account for the bulk of its turnover, but we are keen to grow the business aviation offering and will look at opportunities - particularly in the Middle East - in charter, management and MRO," says Steve Jones, managing director of Marshall Aviation Services.

Marshall's business and commercial aviation's offering includes Cambridge airport and the Cessna Citation authorised service centre based there, as well as a line maintenance base at London Luton airport and business aircraft charter and management company Flairjet, which Marshall acquired earlier this year. "These units a combined annual turnover of £20 million ($31.2 million), while the Broughton facility turns over £30 million a year," says Jones.

"The Broughton acquisition gives us critical mass by allowing us to capture a much bigger slice of the market," he adds. "We are already a Citation [500-series] authorised service centre but we have been looking for some time to extend our maintenance offering to include other types including Bombardier business jets, Embraer Phenoms and the Hawker Beechcraft family of jets, turboprops and pistons."

The 50-year-old Broughton facility will be rebranded Marshall Aviation Services and will widen its scope beyond Beechcraft, Jones says. "We can open up the facility to a much wider range of aircraft types and offer a breadth of services, including aircraft completions - something we have been unable to do until now," he adds. "The skilled workforce can now be unleashed to work on other models. The demand is there."

Marshall has also been appointed Beechcraft's distributor for the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia, which paves the way for the company to offer "a full suite of services" to Baron, Bonanza and King Air owners, Jones says.